Flesh & Blood comes across as very personal, introspective, nostalgic and sometimes just plain tear-jerking due to the fact that Butler has made family and relationships the centre of his songwriting, as well as all those ups and downs that come with the territory.

As opposed to albums like Sunrise Over Sea [2004], Grand National [2007] and April Uprising [2010] – which helped establish John Butler Trio as Australia’s biggest indie-roots export and cemented the singer’s reputation as an opinionated activist – Flesh & Blood is not only sonically mellower thanks to beautiful, melancholic numbers like Bullet Girl, Young And Wild, Wings Are Free and You’re Free, but it also sees Butler take on a more sympathetic view on issues that would normally inspire an outrage in his songs.

Old age? Not likely. Because when it comes to the rest of the album’s material, Butler still friggin’ jams. Old-school fans won’t be disappointed with songs like Devil Woman and Living In The City which very much stay true to the bluesy-funk that the band’s well-known for, with Butler letting fly with that feisty spark of his on tracks like Blame It On Me – “Give me your truth/how is it that you believe in me when it’s all working for you/but when it’s not, you blame me/when really you make your own bed and you need to sleep in it”.

Overall, Flesh & Blood is still very inspiring stuff from a man with a strong message and an even stronger desire to change the world, the only difference is the sixth time around he’s approaching it from a different angle.

Image credit: Facebook