When Aaron Neville steps away from the New Orleans-based Neville Brothers, he sacrifices the rattling fun generated by the band's mélange of funk, rock, jazz, reggae and whatever else he and brothers Art, Charles and Cyril happen to feel like playing. But what the singer gains is in some ways more valuable, as his solo success in the past several years suggests: Neville can show off his feathery tenor on songs suited to the soulful talents he has been honing for more than three decades.
This album finds him effortlessly handling the doo-wop inflections of "Everyday of My Life," the old-fashioned R&B of "My Precious Star" and the country glide of Kris Kristofferson's "For the Good Times." Not every song shines—"Can't Stop My Heart From Loving You (The Rain Song)" is a soft-rock nonentity—and Neville's voice sometimes verges on preciousness. The Tattooed Heart, however, leaves an indelible impression of a veteran vocalist reveling in his considerable gifts. (A&M)