“When You Left Everything Went Right” is certainly among the highlights here. It’s a brutal kiss-off to an ex; however, it is executed with knife-sharp wit and free of angst. Country music is often stereotyped as “cry in your beer” balladry but there is no weeping from Rotella here; instead, it’s an overwhelming feeling of liberation from a sinking relationship. The rocking “Back At It Again” seems to be a continuation of Rotella’s newly found freedom. Musically, the song crackles with youthful energy.
Rotella is equally effective when he slows the tempo down. “Monterosso” is an acoustic beauty, an awe-inspiring marriage of poetry and folk music. But much of All Roads Lead Home finds Rotella in an upbeat mood. “Shameless” echoes McGuinn’s jangly majesty while “Honey on a Razorblade” packs a wallop with its killer riffs.