Richard X. Heyman Basic Glee

Despite appearances, that's not an old photo of Keith Richards cradling a Rickenbacker on the cover of Richard X. Heyman's fifth full-length release, Basic Glee. And regardless of what your ears would have you believe, that's not Paul Weller singing all the lead parts. Rather, it's NYC melodic-pop veteran Heyman, who has assembled 14 crafty, original and stick-in-your-head new tracks here, any of which would've benefited Weller's latest outing. (Heyman is no doubt sick to death of comparisons with the aged Jam master, but alas, there's no getting around the sonic similarities.) Dude plays pretty much every instrument here too (and well, at that) and manages to avoid any overwhelming retro sensibility despite all the evidence of striped jackets and velvet trousers. This is warm, timeless pop from a guy that seems to have somehow slipped between the cracks of widespread notoriety. (Turn-Up)