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Music Review: Huey Lewis-style tenor Murali Coryell sings of love and lust on 'Restless Mind'

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Murali Coryell, "Restless Mind" (Shake-It-Sugar)

A musician walks into a bar. A female stranger kisses him. He flees.

PHOTO: This CD cover image released by Shake-It-Sugar shows "Restless Mind," a release by Murali Coryell. (AP Photo/Shake-It-Sugar)
This CD cover image released by Shake-It-Sugar shows "Restless Mind," a release by Murali Coryell. (AP Photo/Shake-It-Sugar)

For Murali Coryell, this is no joke. Love-life dysfunction is a recurring theme on "Restless Mind," and luckily for us, Coryell's woes inspire warm, embracing R&B to soothe the soul music fans.

Coryell's lyrics aren't much — the bar scene in "Crime of Opportunity" is silly, while "Sex Maniac" is worse. And the 44-year-old son of veteran jazz-rock guitarist Larry Coryell can't match his dad's instrumental chops. Few can.

But the younger Coryell's smoky tenor more than compensates. He's a Huey Lewis sound-alike who can pull off a pop burst such as "Waiting and Wasting Away," a jazzy ballad like the title cut, the blues of "I Need Someone to Love," and even the closing seven-minute cover, "Let's Get It On." While it's risky business to take on Marvin Gaye, Coryell gives the chestnut fresh fizz with an inventive vocal arrangement.

He sings a lot about heartache, but as "Let's Get It On" makes clear, Coryell has his act together.

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