Though Metheny sets his usually sonorous, rounded guitar melodies to some vaguely hip-hoppish beats, there's nothing alienating about his more streetwise approach. Metheny manages to stay well within his usual soft-jazz comfort zone, creating the kind of languorous, radio-friendly music that's played at brunch at an upscale bistro. Case in point is "Here to Stay," which practically lifts off the CD player with David Blamires and Mark Ledford's airy vocals. The pair added the perfect Brazilian lilt to 1987's Still Life (Talking). His longtime ensemble gets more daring with some free-form jazz rifling on "Episode d'Azur," featuring Lyle Mays on keyboards.
Metheny says he was inspired by the famed '70s Philly R&B producer Thorn Bell on the warm, soulful "Something to Remind You," which is as close to a lights-dimmed, make-out song as Pat Metheny will ever write. It's pleasant to listen to, but playing it safe may not bode well for someone of Metheny's complex talents. (Geffen)