Like its predecessor, 1996's better-than-fine Blame It on Me, Fortune Cookies finds Davis effortlessly playing the roles of singer, tunesmith, and guitarist. And while her sound encompasses elements o

Like its predecessor, 1996's better-than-fine Blame It on Me, Fortune Cookies finds Davis effortlessly playing the roles of singer, tunesmith, and guitarist. And while her sound encompasses elements of Joni Mitchell and India.Arie, as well as Tracy Chapman and Dido, Davis remains individual. The set's opener, "Save the Day," has special poignancy these days, and a buoyant cover of Third Eye Blind's "I Want You" is as sweet as they come. "I Don't Care (Lonesome Road)" is tear-soaked, and "Under the Rainbow" is a cry for help, while such funk-fueled tracks as the Neptunes-produced "Bye Bye" and "How Many of Us Have Them (Friends)"—a clever reworking of Whodini's mid-'80s jam "Friends"— show Davis proudly wearing her neo-soul colors. With Fortune Cookies, Davis proves that she's an artist who's not afraid to take a risk or two.—MP