*** 1/2 Jonathan Richman, “I’m So Confused,” Vapor. Nobody but this veteran singer-songwriter could have provided the blend of absurdity and poignancy that gave “There’s Something About Mary” its surreal sweetness. Featuring the movie’s heart-wrenching, gut-busting “True Love Is Not Nice,” Richman--that film’s strolling troubadour--offers a spare, folk-pop collection that’s similarly preoccupied with the ups and (mostly) downs of romance. One exception, “Nineteen in Naples,” offers a wry, rollicking view of American naivete abroad.
Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).
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* Excerpts from these and other recent releases are available on The Times’ World Wide Web site. Point your browser to: https://www.latimes.com/soundclips