. . . if there can be a best among equals. This is Stan Rogers's last studio album, and with each successive album his writing became more creative, evocative and expressive. His, and his band's, singing and playing were always first rate and exactly what was needed. The songs tell compelling stories, and the melodies, voices and instrumentation carry the messages and emotions to new heights. This album though, goes far beyond the others, with a variety of styles, from "screaming rock 'n' roll tracks" (as the liner notes state) to the most intricate and delicate of songs. Stan's lyrics and rich voice, and the album's lush instrumental arrangements, make this a very powerful and emotional mix. The songs on this album are about the history and daily lives of the people of southern Ontario and the Great Lakes region, with all of their joys and disappointments, and listeners feel those joys and disappointments themselves. The one departure from the Great Lakes theme is the last song -- "The House of Orange" -- which was the only overtly political song that Stan wrote. However, it is as evocative as the rest of the songs, and perhaps even more so. This CD presents a powerful performance that you will keep coming back to.