England's blue-eyed soul boy goes back to his roots

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Robert Palmer – Drive

Palmer’s contribution to the recent Robert Johnson tribute disc Hellhound On My Trail inspired this stripped-down, spontaneous album completely at odds with the extravagantly produced material which brought him such fame in the mid-’80s. Akin to his eclectic earlier albums such as 1974’s New Orleans-inflected Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley or 1980’s Gary Numan team-up Clues, here he mixes up R&B, funk, cajun and rock with this mixture of self-penned new songs and covers (including “It Hurts Me Too”, “Mama Talk To Your Daughter”, “Hound Dog”, and?bizarrely?ZZ Top’s “TV Dinners”). Self-produced and with Palmer on bass throughout, this is more like it.