On to the B side.

1. The Highest in the Land

This is the most mysterious song on the album. It appears to be about a monk in, say, the 13th century? There are references to Genghis Khan, the Great Wall of China, and the Boo Yang Shang, which may or may not be a real thing; Google is no help here. One day, I’m sure, all will become clear. For now I’m quite content with the mystery.


One thing I can tell you for sure is that “Black Raoul” was the Jazz Butcher’s cat, who was celebrated in this earlier song:


2. Running on Fumes

I’ve written some about this one already. “A poison kiss from beyond the grave” was the phrase I used, and I think it’s apt.


3. Sebastian’s Medication

If the album has a weak spot, this is it. The riff is one we’ve heard before, and an aging rock star griping about “political correctness gone mad” is never a good look — even if it’s couched in multiple levels of irony, as I believe this is. (The line “How the hell are you supposed to leave a Continent?” is clearly an anti-Brexit reference.) It’s not the Butcher’’s finest hour, but it’s not an unpleasant way to pass four minutes.


4. Goodnight Sweetheart

Thanks, Pat, for leaving us with this benediction. You didn’t have to do that. It seems like your last days weren’t very pleasant, but I’m glad you stuck it out and gave us something to remember you by. “We want to be handled softly, kissed and told that we’re worth something” — ain’t it the truth?