It remains extraordinary that Michael Franks has not broken through from his small but devoted following to a wider audience, for he is without any doubt the most complete and perceptive songwriter currently active. His songs speak of love lost, found, abandoned, imagined, destroyed, recaptured, and all shades of nuance in between. Anyone who has experienced any emotional joy or upset (ie. anyone over the age of thirty) will find the memory of the experience captured in the deliciously subtle words and music of Michael Franks. "Heart Like an Open Book", has the male narrator singing, with a naive joy that is almost painful for the cynical listener to observe, of how he and his new lover reveal themselves, one to the other, with their hearts "like an open book". Cultural and literary references feature in many of the songs (eg. "I flashed my Rhett Butler look"), and are a joy to those with whom they strike a chord, but are not obstructive to the enjoyment of the music by those oblivious to such references. This album is perhaps not as good as the earlier, utterly marvellous "Abandoned Garden", but as that was one of the finest albums of all time, this is not in any way a criticism.