He's wrong about that, as illustrated by "Meadowlake Street," a four-minute song with a three-minute intro. Still, Roses is a vast improvement over the stylistic gamesmanship of last year's Love Is Hell. On his latest, he wisely sticks with the country-rock approach he's been guzzling since the Whiskeytown era, and the move pays off on solemn weepers like "Now That You're Gone" as well as on the rollicking "Let It Ride," which is as phony as all get-out but pretty irresistible anyhow. About half of Roses blooms, and if that makes one of its discs even more superfluous than it already was, he'd never admit it. Give that man a wafer-thin mint.