"Soul Searchin'" and "Diamond in Your Mind"--Wilson/Andy Paley and Waits/ Kathleen Brennan cowrites, respectively--may be the first to grab you, but that's because they represent the lightest musical moments here. Consider them cooling breezes in the middle of a slow-brewing storm. Other songs offer more in the way of staying power, most notably the two Morrison contributions ("Only a Dream" and the Band-ish "Fast Train," both of which surfaced on his own recent release) and Elvis Costello and wife Cait O'Riordan's heart-on-trial saga, "The Judgment." And it's fitting that Dan Penn, he of "Dark End of the Street," "Do Right Woman-Do Right Man," and so many other quintessential country-soul ballads, was the lead writer on the album-opening title track.
But the best is saved for second-to-last, the Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil/Brenda Russell collaboration "None of Us Are Free," a song previously recorded by Ray Charles on 1993's My World. The titular chorus is the most timeless of messages, and Burke (with superb help from the Blind Boys of Alabama) makes it sound both ancient and urgent.