Responses to this challenging recording have been varied, but there is general appreciation for Ochs' preoccupation with the tragedies of history and fate, viewed through a satiric lens. The album's lyrics and musical flavor flicker between the manic and a Heracletian despondency, sometimes in the same song. "Half a Century High," a portrait of haunting by televisual media, works as a proto-Cyberpunk document, foreshadowing such bleak futures as The Firesign Theatre's I Think We're All Bozos on This Bus and Terry Gilliam's 12 Monkeys. "The Harder They Fall" is, to put it mildly, the ultimate song of Innocence and Experience, using popular nursery rhymes as a vehicle for highlighting some of the more unsavory fruits of human endeavor. The much-discussed "When in Rome" - at 13+ minutes - is a historic journey through a nation committed to reenacting horror and infamy on an ever-widening scale. These excursions are tempered by the equally bracing straight narration of "Joe Hill" and the elegiac resign of "Floods of Florence."