The San Franciscan guitar slinger's persuasive eighth solo album
(****) Plucked from Berkeley obsurity in the mid-`80s by psychedelic cowboys Green On Red, Chuck Prophet was always a gifted rapier to lead singer Dan Stuart's yeoman bludgeon. His Richard Thompson-indebted Telecaster squalls have subsequently decorated a litany of creditable solo albums of which this latest may well be the finest. Recorded in Nashville with innumerable guests, Soap And Water runs the gamut of Prophet's influences, from Bob Dylan (Naked Ray) to Alex Chilton (Let's Do Something Wrong) and the Stones (Soap And Water), all of it delievered with a quixotic swagger and Prophet's declamatory sneer of a voice. His quicksilver fretwork still impresses - especially on the Television-like stomper Freckle Song, though the stand-out track is the burnished, redemptive ballad Would You Love Me, replete with a Methodist children's choir and a counterpoint melody that could melt the stoniest heart.