Chuck Prophet, Soap and Water

Leave it to the ever-interesting, never-­sitting-still Chuck Prophet to begin a record with the wonderfully suggestive line, "I like the way you freckle, I like the way you peel, I love to see your hair in a mess." Also leave it to the ever-inventive San Franciscan to combine apocalyptic guitar with a cherubic children's choir and remind us what rock is all about with the hypnotic repetition of "let's do something wrong, let's do something stupid" or lay open a suave, quirky love vein by saying "I've still got that box of Band-Aids from the night we patched things up." Prophet absolutely leaves the imitators and posers behind on "Doubter Out of Jesus (All Over You)," whose live video on YouTube reveals why Prophet is currently The Man in rock. He hits that San Francisco Tenderloin zone on the hilariously sleazy "A Woman's Voice Can Drug You": "She'll roll you like Duct tape, entwine you in a modern dance." If the ongoing Maroon 5-ization­ of rock disturbs you, Chuck Prophet is your hope for the future and the man you should listen to immediately. From the nitty to the gritty, there's nothing else out there quite like this.

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