Personnel: Warren Zevon (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, piano, keyboards); Peter Buck, Neil Young, Brian Setzer, Rick Richards, Mike Campbell, Blackbyrd McKnight (guitar); David Lindley (lap steel guitar); Darius (sitar); Bob Dylan (harmonica); Amp Fiddler, Jai Winding (keyboards); Mike Mills, Flea, Tony Levin, Leland Sklar (bass); Jorge Calderon (bass, background vocals); Bill Berry, Craig Krampf (drums); Will Alexander, Brian Bell (programming); Michael Stipe, Stan Lynch, Don Henley, Jennifer Warnes (background vocals).
Producers: Warren Zevon, Andrew Slater, Niko Bolas.
West Coast based songwriter Warren Zevon emerged from middling activity and high-strung excess with SENTIMENTAL HYGIENE, his strongest record in years. The album zooms with renewed vigor, well placed cameos, and Zevon's trademark mix of black humor and heartache. Things kick off with the chugging title track, highlighted by a stinging solo from fellow iconoclast Neil Young. Zevon then turns his chronicler's eye towards the boxing ring with the gripping "Boom Boom Mancini."
From there it's Springsteen territory "Working at the Factory" with Bob Dylan supplying the harmonica breaks. R.E.M. turns up on the jaunty "Even the Dog Can Shake Hands," which takes passing pot shots at hanger's on. Never one to wallow in self-pity, Zevon turns his forked tongue inward on "Detox Mansion." His alcohol rehab experiences bubble over the top in the alternately hilarious and gripping song, resulting in the album's funniest, hardest hitting and ultimately, most rewarding moment.
Rolling Stone (9/4/03, p.147) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...One of the least sentimental records ever made about getting sober. [Features some of] Zevon's best-ever songs..."