While Cousteau goes for select retro touches like upright bass and wah-wah guitars, they're mixes and matches from several disparate eras, ensuring that this is no museum reconstruction. "One Good Reason" manages to dovetail modern sampled beats and lo-fi vocals with Beatle guitars, Brill Building horns and McKahey's gorgeous falsetto, a ringer for David Bowie during his disco era. "For heaven's sake, she turns me on," he pleads, and it's the first record in eons that sounds like a guy isn't singing to his own reflection. Unlike Sade, Cousteau isn't strictly a one-man (or woman) operation, but rather a genuinely integrated band. In this case it's keyboardist and second vocalist Davey Ray Moor who writes and produces all of the material. Moor gets lyrically fanciful on tracks like "You My Lunar Queen" and "Shades of Ruinous Blue," but the lines that ring truest are the ones that convey girl-induced misery ("I wish you were here, I wish you were her . . .").
If America ever needed a crooner, it's right now -- an era when more words are bleeped out on radio than are actually sung. It won't be long before the industry gets hip to this adult-contemporary void and shovels a new candidate down your throat. But with Cousteau you're being handed one on a silver platter -- complete with tattoos, multiple earrings, crooked teeth and a Bing Crosby microphone. Take a listen and make it easy on yourself.