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Record Review

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Success took Eagle-Eye Cherry by surprise the first time around. A musician by default rather than design, he made a record in his spare time and released it without fanfare. Expecting a tepid response, he instead sold 4 million copies and spent an entire two years circumnavigating the globe.

But talent and creativity run in the family. Son of Don and brother of Neneh, this affable Swede was an aspiring actor before stumbling over a guitar.

For the follow-up to Desireless, Cherry enlisted Rick Rubin as a co-producer and put together a lively, though hardly groundbreaking collection of tunes. The after-effect of working with members of Prodigy and the Dust Brothers is in evidence, as is his penchant for a catchy hook. "Are We Still Having Fun?" is a churning rocker, played fast and furious, while "Together" is both funky and sinister. A subtle, subversive slide guitar underscores "One Good Reason."

Present/Future includes the previously released Santana collaboration "Wishing It Was," as well as a welcome guest spot from sister Neneh on "Long Way Around," who is overdue for a release of her own.

Cherry sells himself short on the album's first single "Feels So Right," which really doesn't. The lyrics are simplistic and predictable.

Eagle-Eye Cherry plays Mon., Nov. 5, at the Cotton Club.

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