Murali Coryell, "Restless Mind" (Shake-It-Sugar)
A musician walks into a bar. A female stranger kisses him. He flees.
For Murali Coryell, this is no joke. Love-life dysfunction is a recurring theme on "Restless Mind," and luckily for us, Coryell's woes inspire warm, embracing R&B to soothe the soul music fans.
Coryell's lyrics aren't much -- the bar scene in "Crime of Opportunity" is silly, while "Sex Maniac" is worse. And the 44-year-old son of veteran jazz-rock guitarist Larry Coryell can't match his dad's instrumental chops. Few can.
But the younger Coryell's smoky tenor more than compensates. He's a Huey Lewis sound-alike who can pull off a pop burst such as "Waiting and Wasting Away," a jazzy ballad like the title cut, the blues of "I Need Someone to Love," and even the closing seven-minute cover, "Let's Get It On." While it's risky business to take on Marvin Gaye, Coryell gives the chestnut fresh fizz with an inventive vocal arrangement.
He sings a lot about heartache, but as "Let's Get It On" makes clear, Coryell has his act together.