Full of invective and excitement, come-ons and comedowns, parties and pouting, Jonny Alright Sings and Plays His Songs is one of the year's most exciting surprises. Recorded with a strange cast of locals that includes Filthybird singer Renee Haran and Greensboro funk siren Robin Doby, Alright sings and plays his songs as a mercurial and charismatic frontman. A rock 'n' roll chameleon, Jonny Alright suggests Paul McCartney's melodic maneuverability on "Wrecking Ball" and Lou Reed's stilted soul on "Glory." Mostly, though, he crackles with the primitive blues spirit of Jack White and Dex Romweber, reinvigorating old ideas with his own new worries. "I'm moving like a cheetah, man," he howls at one point, his restlessness presented like a talisman. Keep up if you can.
&mdash Grayson Currin