“Honeyscrew” asks what seem to be sincere questions about the existence of God. An elderly black man shares feelings about heaven, racism and fighting for a country that would not let him vote, and thanks God for the love of a good woman on “Old Man & Me.” Several cuts value friendship during lonely or trying times (“So Strange,” “The Earth Stopped Cold at Dawn”). Other apparently positive thoughts get lost in a haze of lyrical obscurity.
A drunk man heads to a bar on “Fool,” though to his credit he realizes the need to “grow up.” Mentions of dishonesty plague at least six songs.
This disc is the follow-up to Cracked Rear View. Hootie’s press bio says Fairweather Johnson “reflects a darker, more introspective side of the band,” but the Grammy-winning foursome doesn’t promote despair. With the noted exceptions, a lyrically vanilla effort driven by rocky road rhythms.