Crash Test Dummies Puss ‘N' Boots

Crash Test Dummies frogman Brad Roberts rallies the troops once more for a set of blue-eyed soul that by and large walks the same swagger as its predecessor, Give Yourself a Hand. Roberts wants to be Lenny Kravitz more than ever. As such, he’s reintroduced the guitar back into the CTD sound in a significant way. Occasionally, the instrument shows up in its gritty, electric incarnation, like on "Triple Master Blaster” and "I’m the Man (That You Are Not).” More often, though, it’s represented in a rootsy, acoustic wash, the likes of which anchored the band’s earlier folk pop material of yore. Most of these 13 tracks weigh in as mid-tempo, pop-infused slow-boil funk numbers rife with clicky, sampled studioisms and augmented with clever-though-thinly-veiled lyrical sexual innuendo. Though effectively a solo effort, CTD chanteuse Ellen Reid shows up in a backing-vocalist capacity here and there, and Roberts’ brother Dan does his bass thing throughout. Veteran Canuck keyboardist Chris Brown is all over the disc, too, as is versatile Roberts’s sideman Stuart Cameron, who scores the odd co-writing credit here, too. (MapleMusic)