Having endured the loss of yet another bandmember with the passing of original bassist Leon Wilkeson, Skynyrd
picks up the pieces yet again and delivers the goods the way only it can. Lyrically, the band hasn't stretched out its list of topics in any new directions, but quite honestly, who cares? This is Skynyrd
. This isn't music to study to or scratch your chin by -- this isn't the soundtrack to relaxing nights sipping instant coffee and talking about deep feelings. This is homegrown music that's about partying and rock & roll, with a little bit of contemplative soul-searching mixed in for good measure. The music is still top-notch, probably the best it's been since the early '90s. And while the obvious absence of Ronnie VanZant
will forever haunt the group like a bad plague, his brother has more than adequately been up to the task -- filling those giant shoes with the same passionate dirt and grit in his vocals as Ronnie
did all those years ago. The band is the same, still rocking harder than most even after all these years. And for once the phrase "bonus track" lives up to that title; a duet of "Gimme Back My Bullets" between Skynyrd
and nu-metal spokesman of the moment Kid Rock
is simply the icing on the cake. Easily Skynyrd
's best work in years and a welcome return to form for one of rock's most treasured assets.