Let me start by saying two things: 1) I have never reviewed an album or CD before, and 2) I am a tried and true Chris Rea FAN.
I own every album or CD Chris ever made. OK, there are two I know of that are not in my collection, but they are on my list. I started with Whatever Happened to Benny Santini and recently bought The Road To Hell And Back. I can honestly say that I love them all. However, this CD has become my favorite.
If you have seen the Stony Road DVD, you know that Chris' career is divided by his bout with cancer into two segments: commercial (pre-cancer) and artistic (post-cancer). God's Great Banana Skin falls in the commercial half of Chris' career, but more than any CD of that segment shows his tremendous talent and songwriting ability.
You would also have learned from the Stony Road DVD that the blues don't always show up as angry, hard-driving music. Chris says that sometimes it's simply a longing. This CD points that fact out better than any of his prior work. This is a longing CD.
IMHO, the guitar work on this CD is Chris' best. He plays with much feeling and expression, especially when playing the slide, or "bottleneck", the term Chris prefers. Especially after journeying through Stony Road and Blue Guitars, the 11-CD set, before hearing this CD, his remarkable talent for the blues comes out here - even before he was able to fully express it due to record company issues.
My favorite tracks are ... ALL OF THEM. However, the play count on my iPod tells me that I listen to Boom Boom, Too Much Pride, Soft Top Hard Shoulder, and Nothing to Fear the most. I also find 90's Blues to be one of Chris' better efforts.
I could write more, but you've already figured out that I heartily recommend this CD.