November 26, 2001 12:00 PM

Eagle-Eye Cherry (MCA)

On this, his sophomore disc, Eagle-Eye Cherry—the son of famed jazz trumpeter Don and brother of singer-rapper Neneh (“Buffalo Stance”)—contributes another well-crafted page to an impressive family album. Cherry, best known for his 1999 hit “Save Tonight,” serves up folky pop-rock compositions that fall safely between alternative and adult contemporary, just right for VH1. Think Lenny Kravitz lite.

But while Present/Future is generally enjoyable, few cuts (like the rootsy “Shades of Gray” and the Latin-flavored “Wishing It Was,” featuring Carlos Santana on guitar) manage to stand out, in part due to the singer-songwriter’s generic lyrics: ” ‘Cause all I know/Is you and I are meant to be,” he chimes on the single “Feels So Right.” His thin voice is pretty unremarkable too, upstaged by his more soulful sister, who joins him on “Long Way Around,” a country-meets-hip-hop ditty that makes one wish Neneh would record another album. Still, you can’t fault Eagle-Eye’s taste in duet partners.

Bottom Line: This Cherry doesn’t fall far from the family tree

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