"Dear Sir" and "Myra Lee" don't do much for me; "Moon Pix" is maybe her first fully realized album, but this one, which came right before it, might be a little better. It's hard to say, and because I heard this one first, I may just be partial to it. Neither of them have consistently great songs; they're all pretty good songs (she does kind of butcher "Moonshiner" on Moon Pix by screaming that stuff about being in Hell), but I'm not particularly dazzled by Chan Marshall's songwriting skills...it's something else that makes me want to listen to these albums. Her singing, the atmosphere, the band. Well, though I may be in the minority, I prefer the band on this album, especially Steve Shelley's drums. Jim White (on Moon Pix) is alright, but Shelley really helps some of these songs rock. "They Tell Me," which is sort of a blues song (never makes it to the B7 chord) isn't a GREAT song, but it just sounds good, I get kind of afraid listening to it by myself. And it's very fortunate that her singing, while expressive, only occasionally wanders into affectation. Usually I don't really know what she's singing about. Occasionally, the lyrics are kind of embarrassing, but generally they're just abstruse enough to be harmless (the lyrics on Moon Pix, being more thematically linked, are better, and she sounds a little wiser). Anyhow, I don't really have a point to make, I'm just trying to decide if I prefer this or Moon Pix. Both of them are worth owning; both have their faults (minor ones); I think that Moon Pix is a greater achievement overall, but--I couldn't say why (Shelley's drumming?)--I think I'd rather listen to this one.