Cookie Duster Cookie Duster

It was always a bit surprising that Change of Heart, for all their diverse musical talents, kept a tight focus on hard-driving rock'n'roll. This project - featuring CoH alumni Bernard Maiezza, Ian Blurton, Damon Richardson with Brendan Canning (By Divine Right, Broken Social Scene) - is a 180 turn into soulful pop and ambient funk. Dropping by for this party are Spookey Reuben, Andrew Whiteman, Jose Contreras (who sings in Spanish over a pseudo-Brazilian groove), and Danko Jones, singing in a silky soul falsetto. There are some moments of pop cheese, but it holds together remarkably well. The latter-half of the album is entirely instrumental, at times recalling King Cobb Steelie - whose Mike Armstrong shows up as well. Amidst all the distractions, the album belongs to Maiezza's spacey keyboards and Canning's bass grooves. There's no doubt the guests add to the party, but the most satisfying moments are when everyone else goes out for a smoke. (Independent)