*** Vince Bell, "Phoenix," Watermelon. The opening "Frankenstein" gets to the monster myth in three minutes with much more grace than Kenneth Branagh's whole overwrought movie. From there, the veteran Texas troubadour explores the poetry of the misfit with understated passion. Guest vocals by Lyle Lovett and Victoria Williams round out a warm, thoughtful set.
New albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).