The mainstream got its first taste of Seattle-based singer/songwriter Pete Droge in 1994, when the infectious "If You Don't Love Me (I'll Kill Myself)" appeared in the movie "Dumb and Dumber." Those w

The mainstream got its first taste of Seattle-based singer/songwriter Pete Droge in 1994, when the infectious "If You Don't Love Me (I'll Kill Myself)" appeared in the movie "Dumb and Dumber." Those who have followed him ever since should love "Skywatching," his fourth set. In the can for some two years as he searched for management and then formed the Thorns with Shawn Mullins and Matthew Sweet, "Skywatching" is arguably the slack-voiced, Petty-esque Droge's most thoroughly fulfilling set. A beautiful-sounding record, "Skywatching" is often lyrically sweet ("Train Love to Stay") and at times funny and poppy ("All Lit Up"). Droge has said that he was tiring of the solo artist routine before joining the Thorns. It's ironic, considering that he seems to have hit his stride here. A surprise that's oh so easy to love.—WO