If you thought Jimmy Carpenter was just an amazing saxophone player, think again! Although he plays great horn on some of the songs on his new album, he also wrote and sings them all, and is quite accomplished at both. Who knew? While continuing to play and tour with Walter “Wolfman” Washington and the Roadmasters, Carpenter composed the 13 tracks during what he terms “the most prolific six months of my life,” and he credits the women in his life with the inspiration. That’s easily imagined since, aside from two sax-drenched instrumentals, the subject matter covers all stages of love from fascination right through to regret. “Can’t Let Go” is a bluesy rocker with some tasty Anson Funderburgh guitar. “She’s Not You” has Carpenter’s wailing saxophone helping to tell the sad tale of an old love that’s “a hard act to follow.” “No One’s Ever (Touched Me Like You)” is unapologetically romantic, and Carpenter delivers the lyrics with sweet conviction. He’s in a more anxious mood for “Hard to Be Cool;” he sounds flat-out haunted in “Favorite Muse;” and “Fellow Traveler” accepts heartbreak as the human condition. Then, there’s the hot title track with its frankly provocative chorus — “Sometimes I wish you’d leave me/ just so I can watch you walk away.” The point is emphasized by the album’s sexy cover art that may sell as many copies as the excellent music inside.
– Kay Cordtz