Miguel Graça A New Dawn

A virtually household name in the deep house community of his home base of Montreal, this debut solo album is unfocused but not without its moments. Influenced by but mostly not dance music, this is more living room than dance floor, designed for the morning after. With down-tempo drums and live instruments winning out over studio trickery, this could nonetheless have used the firm hand of an outside producer to trim the fat — many of the early tracks are a full three minutes too long. Then out of nowhere comes "I’m Alive,” which could be a White Stripes b-side, and marks a rut that lasts until things get more dance floor-oriented with the instrumental "Inline.” The following duet with Rise Ashen, "Are You Doin’ It,” could have been released at any point since 1988, with its "retrosexual” groove, and the album stays strong from there. That doesn’t change the fact that these hedges could use some pruning, but if it doesn’t bother you that this album is 75 minutes long when it could be 50, you’ll notice some good ideas here.