DB Records - 2003 - 41 minutes

The stark black and white front of McRae's hugely praised debut only hinted at the emotional rawness on the inside. 'Love Like Blood's cover may look bigger and brighter with McRae swallowed up by red theatre seats - but with his hands over his face you just know the first album's dark places are due a revisit.

Backed by a band sound this time, he puts more flesh on the bones he picks over the ten songs and the result is a more adventurous collection. Again, the theme of getting away can be found in most songs, although whether it offers any escape is something you will argue with yourself about the more you listen.

The fragility of McRae's voice is always chilling and on the album's highlight, the Zep tinged 'Karaoke Soul', he also proves it's no impediment to rocking out. The track's sweeping, complex arrangement harnesses both majesty and menace and courses with the type of scary but seductive energy you could build a whole record around. Mood for thought, Tom?

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: A Day Like Today - You Only Disappear - Ghost of a Shark - Stronger Than Dirt - Overthrown - Walking2Hawaii - Mermaid Blues - Karaoke Soul - Line of Fire - Human Remains