Since coming on strong with his wonderfully varied 1987 debut, Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D'Arby, the 33-year-old singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has refused to rein in his eclecticism—or his album titles. On his fourth disc, D'Arby continues to push that considerable talent and his tunes over the top: He even turns the stripped-clown piano-and-vocal of "If You Go Before Me" into a pulpit-pounding epic. The disc vibrates with stunning slabs of crunchy guitar funk, torchy soul, a tender tango and hyper hip-hop. That's only the first half, and he hardly lets up from there.
D'Arby's last album, 1993's Terence Trent D'Arby's Symphony or Damn: Exploring the Tension Inside the Sweetness, may have been more polished—and sometimes the singer still doesn't seem sure whether to scream, whisper, growl or just caress his ripe melodies—but he continues to be a jack-of-all-genres and, make no mistake, a master of each one. (The WORK Group/Columbia)