After dismantling The Band in the mid '70s, Robertson remained strangely inactive. Thus, the anticipation level was high when rumours of his impending solo album began to circulate at the tail end of the '80s. Rather than release a thowback retro effort to satiate the hearts of fans thirsting after The Band's brand of backwoods roots rock, Robertson stepped firmly into the present day. With the help of producer Daniel Lanios, the album is enveloped with modern textures. Robertson admirably handles the bulk of the vocal chores (keep in mind that he rarely sang a note with the Band). Nonetheless, numerous artists are drawn into the fold to beef up Robertson's effective, but limited, vocal abilities. Peter Gabriel helps transform the beautiful "Fallen Angel" (a moving eulogy to deceased Band member Richard Manuel) into a bona fide hymn that does justice to Manuel's memory. Bono injects heat into the "Sweet Fire of Love" while Robertson growls like a man who's somehow found an extra reserve of energy to lay his claim, once again, as one of the premiere talents of his generation.