I'm surprised by the mixed nature of the preceding reviews. I found this album, coming hot on the heels of the excellent live Viva Wisconsin to be an excellent effort. Any band that has produced as many good to great albums and as many brilliant songs as the Femmes is always going to be judged harshly against the exceptional quality of their earlier work. The Femmes first album is their blessing and curse. I am sure it is still being purchased in respectable quantities today, as new generations of fans first hear the timeless "Add it Up" or "Blister in the Sun." It wasn't until the release of Why Do Birds Sing that the Femmes finally got noticed by the population at large for the work that they were doing. Since then, American Music has only added to their Albatross. No one sounds like the Femmes, and no one else produces songs with the same quirky, ominous, genre blending virtuosity. Freak Magnet is the Violent Femmes at middle age. Sleepwalking, the first single, is as concise and poignant statement about life as a "rock and roll star" as I have ever heard, all set to a propulsive folk-punk beat. In fact, this undercurrent of alienations continues throughout the album. This is Femmes straight ahead and full out, with all the constituent folk rock weirdness firmly in place. This is a band that has never lacked for a distinctive voice and vision and Freak Magnet definitely lives up to it. I for one am just happy to have new Femmes music, much less an album this good.