Jonathan Cain

Body Language

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Jonathan Cain's 1995 Higher Octave debut Piano with a View was a happy-go-lucky romantic piano lark which brought back all the irresistibly mushy charm of his Journey classics "Open Arms" and "Faithfully." While Body Language, is similarly eloquent, hooky, and film-score lush, this time he bypasses the sweet talk of soft candlelight and roses for the darker tones and thicker rhythms of a full-on late-night seduction. It's as if the design of the first album was to get us in the mood, and this one is to get us horny and writhing gently between the sheets. Sexy beefcake cover shots offer hints of Cain's more primal side, which comes across on the synth-horn led "Crazy With the Heat" and "Cry for Love," a slice of '70s soul featuring labelmate Chris Camozzi's wah-wah guitar and an aggressive Hammond B-3 solo complementing Cain's jazzy piano elegance. He should also pursue his lust for more adventurous world sounds -- hinted at on the avant-garde-like "Eyes of Chacmool" more deeply. The only letdown here will come as a big disappointment to Journey fans. "I'll Always Remember," co-written by Cain and lead singer Steve Perry, is pretty like those mellow hits of yesteryear, but edges dangerously close to lounge jazz.

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