Will Oldham hits a groove with 2001's 'Ease Down the Road' which has him singing his most straightforward songs. Gone are the buried meanings of 'I See a Darkness', and the first track even has a pedal steel guitar solo. The production is a little tighter than 'Darkness', but certainly not slick. Also, there are a few unusual instruments making an appearance. Melodically, this is less challenging than Oldham's earlier work, and it points toward the gorgeous tunes he finally pulled out of the bag for his 2003 release 'Master and Everyone'. This is still old-school Oldham, however, with a heavy reliance on the electric guitar, soft-pad drums, female backing vocals, rumbling subsonic bass, slow, meandering ballads, and a general melancholy which perfectly suits a morning on the front porch, dog at your feet, watching the day unfold like a flower.