One Little Indian - 2004 - 51 minutes

Stick on anything by Jesse Malin's former band D Generation and you'll hear just how far he's come as a songwriter. His solo debut, 'The Fine Art of Self-Destruction', was over-praised, but for 'The Heat' he deserves the plaudits.

While it doesn't work the whole way through and it's too long, when Malin gets it right you'll be happy to re-run his blue collar dramas over and over. His state of New York address 'Mona Lisa' contains the grace-any-album lyric "Hanging with the local talent/Drinking like you're Shane MacGowan" and it's one of a handful of truly memorable tracks on the first half of the album.

The second doesn't fare as well, but by the close 'The Heat' will have warmed you up enough to convince that, unlike the characters living in his songs, Malin's best is still to come.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: Mona Lisa - Swinging Man - Silver Manhattan - Arrested - Since You're in Love - Going Out West - Scars of Love - New World Order - About You - Block Island - Basement Home - Hotel Columbia - Indian Summer - God's Lonely People