MJ Cole Sincere

Since the single, "Sincere," struck a chord with the UK garage set a while back, classically trained producer MJ Cole has had this full-length nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize and fielded the "coffee-table garage" charges of purists. While his sound carries a noticeable sheen and elegance, Cole doesn't hold back on deploying the throbbing bass trademark of two-step throughout. Cole constantly strikes an assured balance on entries like "Bandelero Desperado," which builds on a pretty acoustic snippet to accommodate boisterous pirate-radio style toasting. Other vocalists include Elizabeth Troy, whose strong presence only accentuates Cole's impressive arranging skills, particularly on the unashamedly catchy sure shots "Hold On To Me" and "Crazy Love." (Mercury)