The album called Soap and Water opens dirty, with a shambling, Stones-like riff-rocker called "Freckle Song." The lecherous come-on segues right into the atmospheric, tenderly open-hearted balladry of "Would You Love Me?"
That's Chuck Prophet, who has forged a particularly rich and hard-to-pin-down solo career since his days with Green on Red, the great American indie-rock band of the `80s. On these songs about love and the lack of it - to paraphrase the John Cassavetes quote in the liner notes - Prophet is sardonic and hopeful, moody and soulful. Given the mesmerizing blend of warmth and chill - he even uses a children's chorus to subtle but still-audacious effect on some of these very adult songs - it's no wonder that the "Happy Ending" that concludes the album is anything but simple.