September 16, 1994 at 04:00 AM EDT

The British singer mostly plays to his strong suits: suave, double-breasted vocals, unconventional but funky rhythms, and exotic Afro-Carib musical flourishes. It all fuses on ”Know by Now,” the sort of bittersweet up-tempo ballad at which Palmer excels. Later on he indulges in some empty hard-rock posturing abetted by Extreme’s Nuno Bettencourt. But at least Palmer steers clear of the stuffy piano-lounge standards that have marred so many of his recent releases.

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