With Ledisi and Se7en the Poet, 8 p.m. Friday, August 27, at Arena Theatre, 7326 Southwest Fwy., 713-772-5900 or www.arenahouston.com.
On the first tune of Dwele's new album, W.ants W.orld W.omen, the performer utters, "I wish I made music that appealed to the masses/ Instead of writing lyrics that requires poetic classes, yeah." It appears that, after four sophisticated full-lengths, being an on-the-fringe, boho-soul man with a respectable cult following is becoming not enough for the Detroit-based brotha. This may explain why hip-hop hitmaker Nottz (Busta Rhymes, Snoop Dogg) and veteran producer Mike City (Brandy, Usher, Jamie Foxx) help create some WWW tracks that could notch Dwele both repeated radio spins and more listeners. But it looks like he still hasn't lost his knack for making music of the grown-and-sexy variety, either — the bulk of the album, produced by Dwele himself, still manages to be smooth, mature and relentlessly seductive. "Dim the Lights," the best track, has him tag-teaming with Raheem DeVaughn — that other progressive-soul, falsetto-hitting, drawer-dropper — in getting ladies all hot and bothered in the earholes. Though Dwele might have bought in some help in order to move some units, he's still all about making refreshingly adult music.