My first thought: here we go again. Hot on the heels of their most prolific, diverse and artistically interesting album to date, the Ladies decide to return to form. Great. Just when I thought they were taking a step in a new direction. I played it once, found it to be what I'd grown tired of recently, which was Ed and Steve playing to their strengths, sandwiched between some obligatory Kevin Hearn weirdness. More rockin' than the previous release, which I still upheld as a far superior disc. I played it a second time, and started to feel the strengths of each song, and thought to myself, huh, glorified outtakes. I played it a third time, and I never review an album until I've played it at least three times, but then it started to hit me. This album is every bit as good, if not better, than Are Me. Smartly crafted, sonically unique and tirelessly aggressive, this is not the Ladies resting on their laurels. And here's the beauty of it; neither is Are Me! These are career milestones, in my opinion. Not quite a double album, not a package of extras, but pure creative adrenaline put to music. I've spun the new one several times since, and even played the two of them back to back. This is my prognosis: it was very wise of them to release Are Me first, because the power of this latest album might have overwhelmed the fragile, yet intense beauty of the first one. Song for song, this might actually be better than Are Me. It's unfolding like a puzzle. Just when I think I don't like a song, the next time I hear it, I love it. There are a few minor things, like some rhymes that come off as silly, but they are minor in the grand scheme of things. That's the best thing about these two releases. These guys aren't making silly music at all anymore; they are churning out great music from all over the landscape, but injecting it with their usual unusual take on things. "Fun & Games" is an absolute must-hear. I realized that tidbit somewhere between the third listen and wherever I am now. I'm too deeply involved with the album to keep track. I'm hooked. These albums are good stuff on their own, but together and complete, they're a total knockout.