Billy Sheehan reassumes the frontman position for his second solo project, "Cosmic Troubadour," singing and playing guitar in addition to his usual bass acrobatics.

Billy Sheehan reassumes the frontman position for his second solo project, "Cosmic Troubadour," singing and playing guitar in addition to his usual bass acrobatics. Out of 15 songs, he reserves his vocals for six of them; the rest are meandering instrumentals that take deft, stylish turns. "Cosmic" shows growth and more variety than Sheehan's last solo outing, "Compression." Its rock foundation branches into several corridors. "A Million Tears Ago" and "A Tower in the Sky" are similar to Rush during that band's protracted jams. "Long Walk Home" is an irresistible, snappy jazz stroll, while "Don't Look Down" is a more frenetic example of that genre. "Dreams of Discontent" sounds like an amped-up Hoobastank doing "Crawling in the Dark." But don't mistake such comparisons for Sheehan being an imitator. He clearly grooves in his own vein.—CLT