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Wine might mellow with age, but Warren Zevon's twin streaks of perversity and bitter cynicism seem to have deepened with each passing year. This typically acerbic set chronicles the singer-songwriter's trek across the International Middle-Age Line -- namely his passing the big five-oh -- with candor and wit to spare. As befits the tone of the material, it's a sparse, introspective disc that maintains its intensity even in its quietest moments. Zevon's biting wit is amply showcased on tracks like the self-damning "For My Next Trick, I'll Need a Volunteer" and the ominous S & M ode "Hostage-O." But with maturity -- or some facsimile thereof -- he's developed an openness that borders on the vulnerable, a timbre that shines brightly through the wispy melody of "Fistful of Rain." Like most of life's worthwhile elixirs, LIFE'LL KILL YA may make you queasy, but that's a small price to pay for the enlightenment it'll bring.