While being enticed by the infectious rhumba beats and staccato guitar soloing of "Stop," the first single from Joe Henry's Scar, you may be too distracted to realize that the song's lyrics match thos

While being enticed by the infectious rhumba beats and staccato guitar soloing of "Stop," the first single from Joe Henry's Scar, you may be too distracted to realize that the song's lyrics match those of Madonna's No. 4 Billboard Hot 100 hit "Don't Tell Me." Don't be confused. Henry wrote "Stop" for Mrs. Guy Richie, his sister-in-law, who re-tweaked it into "Don't Tell Me." Henry doesn't rely on family ties, though, for attention. Instead, he prefers to hone the jazz/bluesmanship of his 1999 triumph, Fuse. For Scar, Henry collaborates with such notables as bassist Michelle Ndegéocello, jazz-piano phenom Brad Mehldau, and alto-sax legend Ornette Coleman, who graces the bluesy opener "Richard Pryor Addresses a Tearful Nation" and reprises the number on a hidden track. Henry and co-producer Craig Street allow every tune to restrain or express itself as needed, letting such tracks as the brisk "Struck" and the lounge-lizardy "Lock and Key" stand on their own merit. Aside from "Stop," none of the songs, despite their stately textures and thoughtful executions, seem to linger long in the mind. Still, Scar remains an album worth getting to know.—CLT

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