On his third solo album, Donovan Quinn initially seems to be simply staying on the same non-Skygreen Leopards path as before, though hearing him kick things off with a track that lasts under a minute is a nice little twist on things. But while Honky Tonk Medusa shows Quinn continuing to stake out his own spot with a mixture of '60s rock & roll, '70s countrypolitan elegance, and a general, understated, moody tunefulness, he now does so and creates the strongest such album he's yet released. If anything, this might be the first time Quinn's solo work has exceeded its generally well-meaning if not always remarkable intention. The first full song on the album, "Laughing City," combines his ear for stateliness and his band's ability to drive a song at a quicker pace, as well as Jason Quever's perfectly matched production, to make what might be Quinn's strongest song to date. "Night Shift," immediately following the lengthy mix of murky rhythms and clear, focused singing, both maintains the atmosphere and expands Quinn's palette, almost reaching the kind of moody drive that Spacemen 3 showed in their final recordings before collapsing -- and then the song turns again toward the end, first via an a cappella performance, then with a lovely keyboard/acoustic guitar combination. With that as an admirable beginning, Honky Tonk Medusa exudes a stronger feeling than Quinn's previous releases, almost reveling in the constant variety on offer. Whether it's the could-be-a-David-Lynch-soundtrack groove of "My Wife," the slightly forlorn synths on "In the Bag," or the stark in-the-room feeling of "Dying City," everything combines to show Quinn's knack for how to reach out in new and different ways even more successfully. Combined with his sometimes vivid lyrics, as in the portrait of personal and societal unease in "Shadow on the Stone," and the previously mentioned "Dying City," Honky Tonk Medusa is Quinn shifting in full from being fair enough to creating something distinct.