Each Freakwater disc finds Irwin and Bean wrestling their trademark open-throated harmonies, skewed perspectives and malicious wit into new settings, and Thinking of You . . . features sonic support from members of the affably weird Chicago avant-roots combo Califone, which does little to get in the way and much to check the duo's tendency to cleave to its inner skeleton. Freakwater has attempted to rock out before, but the breezy "Hi Ho Silver" ("high on pills") and "So Strange," with its overdriven organ solo and Elvis-in-Vegas propulsion, mark the first time the ladies have had backing to match their vocal and lyrical exuberance. Elsewhere, tears are jerked with less shame and to greater effect than ever before, no mean feat for these accomplished tragedians who once described their preferred genre as "dead baby songs." True to form, "Cathy Ann" is a heartbreaking ode to Woody Guthrie's young daughter who died of burns sustained in a house fire. Elsewhere, the verses of the self-flagellating "Sap" spin down a drain of weary, half-abandoned similes before flatly stating, "I know that I can make you laugh/I believe I know enough to make you cry." A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.