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Chris Isaak

Always Got Tonight

  • Reprise

He was the guy on the beach in the much talked-about videos at the start of his career, and he was the guy whose voice sounded so eerily reminiscent of Roy Orbison. But despite the cover-boy looks that sent female fans swooning, Chris Isaak had an identity problem when his star was starting to rise.

Yet he's come a long way in the past decade, and with his own hit TV comedy currently airing on Showtime and VH1, the time couldn't be more right for Isaak to release his best album in ages. Always Got Tonight is exactly that—a strong, roots-rockin' triumph.

And while the Orbison-comparisons jump out quickly on the soaring lead single, “Let Me Down Easy,” Isaak more than makes it on his own terms here. Check out the obsessive edge that cuts through “One Day” or the sweet mix of acoustic and electric textures on the gorgeous “Cool Love.” Better yet, let the man rock his wild heart out on the disc's hard-driving, flute-fired standout, “Notice the Ring.” The over-the-top title track is the only mild disappointment on what is otherwise the best album of Isaak's career.

Kevin O'Hare