Here is proof positive that Cross' four-million-selling debut LP in 1979 was no fluke. Once again he has crafted richly textured melodies that have both grace and substance. And while the musical mood remains decidedly upbeat, a melancholia has crept into the themes of his songs and shaded his choirboy tenor with sadness. The 10 songs here are mostly about troubled love. Cross lays down songs about loneliness (Talking in My Sleep), romantic rebounding (Deal 'Em Again), rekindling love (All Right), infatuation (Long World) and heartbreak (Words of Wisdom). On What Am I Supposed to Believe, Cross sings a beautiful, sad duet with heartache queen Karla Bonoff. (Other cameo appearances are by Carl Wilson, Art Garfunkel, ex-Eagle Don Henley, ex-Doobie Michael McDonald, J.D. Souther and sax master Tom Scott.) What finally makes this work so alluring is the artistic tension set up by seamless, silky music that carries tales of heartrending emotional dramas. That kind of sensitivity, which never becomes maudlin, is what should keep Cross from becoming just another page in the book of pop.