A singer-songwriter from America’s deep South, “Citation” is Scott Miller’s third album, and, in places, it’s terrific. Pitched somewhere between Joe Ely and Bruce Springsteen, he plays the kind of straight-laced Americana that has no time, for example, for the experimental shortwave diversions so beloved of the likes of Wilco and Sparklehorse. This is blue-collar country-rock, but imbued with a scope and sensitivity that puts it towards the top of that particular pile. It’s no great disadvantage that “Citation” is produced by Jim Dickinson, the man partially responsible for the mangled sonic honesty of my all-time favourite album, Big Star’s “Third/Sister Lovers”.

You really should listen to “Freedom’s A Stranger”. Miller himself jokingly deflates the inevitable Bryan Adams comparisons by referring to it as “Summer Of ‘89”, but in retaking the spirit of “Summer Of ‘69” from stadium excess for the common good, he overturns every AOR/country-rock cliché – cars, girls, music etc. - and retools them as things of joy. This feelgood hit of your mid-30s confronts the reality of ending up with car payments and a mortgage, concluding that there’s no shame in your destination if it’s at the end of the road you really want to travel on.

To say that nothing else on “Citation” matches that magical four minutes is something of a backhanded compliment to Miller’s songwriting given that included amongst the album’s 11 other tracks is a rip-roaring cover of “Hawks And Doves”, from Neil Young’s Reagan-hugging years. Nevertheless, “Still People Are Moving” has a moody, dark, swirling undertow, and the sparse, empty closer “Long Goodnight” drips with evocative images like “a whole universe lit by one kitchen light”.

“Citation” is never less than listenable, but it has moments that will reaffirm the most jaded listener’s belief in the coursing, redemptive power of loud guitars and unbridled emotion.