Those who found themselves seduced by such Perry Blake albums as 'Songs for Someone' and 'California' are in for a shock when they first hear 'Canyon Songs'.

Blake, a man who you imagine could have Roxy Music's 'Avalon' as the ringtone on his mobile, has gone a bit country - that urban living feel of past records now replaced by a sound that seems to belong to wide open spaces.

But the shock to the system subsides in time and as 'Canyon Songs' progresses Blake returns to more familiar territory, albeit with a little more twang in places.

It's the album's three upbeat opening tracks which seem to offer Blake his biggest opportunity of connecting with a wider audience while that after dark allure of old returns on 'The Letter' and 'Sometimes'.

Those two very different tones also create something of a dilemma: the nagging feeling that 'Canyon Songs' isn't one thing or another and doesn't sit together as well as his other work. But the soundtrack to that debate in your head is never less than pleasing.

Harry Guerin