Cub Koda has tried a lot of different things in his long career, but he has never made anything close to Box Lunch. It's not just that the album consists of nothing but acoustic material; he has never been this open with his emotions. There are a few rockers -- "Double Barrel Hell" is menacing and "Gimme Trash" is a tongue-in-cheek kitsch celebration -- but the heart of the record is in the ballads, whether it's the nostalgic "We Were Crazy Back Then," the yearning "Runaway Heart," or the lovely "How Could Life Turn Out This Way," which evokes the spirit of Hank Williams. Cub has rarely been this naked with his feelings and the results are frequently moving. And, to cap it all off, he throws out "Susan Hayward's Diary," a charming finger-picked instrumental. Moments like this make you hope that it's not the last acoustic album Cub will make -- Box Lunch is so good, you wish there were seconds. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

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