After an eight-year absence, Hayes — who never really went away, thanks to hip-hop samplings — attempts to ride the current wave of interest in classic soul. On Branded, he doesn’t update his sound as much as reassert it. Oozing with sex and strings, his cover of Sting’s ”Fragile” fits in with his own ”Soulsville” from 1971’s Shaft. Raw &amp Refined, an album of funky instrumentals, is not as intriguing without his deep, honeyed vocals. B+