Steve Earle has distinguished himself as a willing provocateur raging against American political apathy and lethargic thinking. 2001's Jerusalem album dove into the stickier bits of U.S. politics and foreign policy at a time when most of the country's liberal voices were making like Yertle the Turtle and ducking for cover. This time round, the man once lauded as country & western's saviour focuses on rousting the throne's usurper and clueing people to the real enemy. With lacerating satire and strangely acute narratives, Earle renders the dilemmas of Gulf War America with sensitivity and the grassroots Americana that made the Boss's Born In The USA so anthemic. All but two songs on this album were recorded within 24 hours of the first line being written. If you want proof that inspiration flies on the wings of urgency, this should do it.