Yet it still feels honest, like something said out of necessity instead of opportunity, and the result is an album that engages with the idea of loneliness in exceptional ways.
Harrowing poetry is mixed with choice covers, from Smog's road-to-redemption title track to a particularly haunted take on Robert Johnson's Me and the Devil. It's blistering stuff.
It's a steely blues record at heart--the sound of a damaged man staring in the mirror without self-pity but not without hope.
The 28-minute length of this album adds to the impression that this feels more like a demo, a collection of fragments woven by Russell into a cautionary mood piece, rather than a major comeback.
I'm New Here is a thin affair-musically weak and lyrically narrow.