Lonnie James Dee-O

LJ is back with a sophomore effort that makes last year's This Land Is Your Land seem like a demo tape from years gone by. This isn't to condemn his debut, but Dee-O is miles ahead in production, songwriting and realisation, showing great progress in James' work. With a backup posse of Jose Contreras (By Divine Right), Glenn Milchem (Blue Rodeo) and John Borra (Change of Heart, John Borra Band) it's hard to do wrong, as Lonnie ploughs through eight power pop delights. Jose's influence seems to have rubbed off a bit, with smiley pop bits and heavy-on-the-air harmonies sticking their necks out all over the place, gliding slowly but surely on tracks like "Indifferent." James also nods to days gone by, saluting the Superfriendz on "One Day," or so it seems. With the first time jitters out of the way, Lonnie has managed to plug in and kick it like we knew he could, jamming out at Dee-O's end on "Now Is The Time." He couldn't be more right. (Teenage USA)