Sam Prekop struck out from the Sea & Cake with his excellent self-titled 1999 solo debut, a seductive listen studded with Brazilian-influenced melodies.

Sam Prekop struck out from the Sea & Cake with his excellent self-titled 1999 solo debut, a seductive listen studded with Brazilian-influenced melodies. Without abandoning that stylistic precedent, he returns here with 11 warm, loose tracks that defy easy categorization. Even when you can't understand what he is breathily crooning, Prekop is a master at setting just the right mood. On highlights like "Two Dedications," he channels Curtis Mayfield atop a lithe, midtempo groove, while horns and tasteful electronics add a romantic zest to opener "Something." The playful tone of the first album is evident on "Density" and the instrumental "Magic Step," but the ace band really shines on "Dot Eye," an improbable Antonio Carlos Jobim/ Crazy Horse hybrid that crackles with sultry soul.—JC