Love Jones

Welcome back to disc, guys. Fifteen years after their last studio release, this Louisville-by-way-of-Hollywood group is once more pitching its forward-by-mixing-up-the-past approach. Ben Daughtrey and his five cohorts give each cut its own blend of lounge and club styles. Often it works out fine, achieving a kaleidoscope of party music that’ll fit either happy hour or all-night dancing. But sometimes the energy flags, and that compromises the often-sophisticated arrangements and reveals the wear in the voices. The ’80s-meets-’90s convoluted soul-pop “Contact High” and breezy light-rock “Hey California” are a great start to this short set, but soon a pair of novelty songs come along — probably stooping to reach the fans who think neither they nor the band have aged a day (or matured a whit) since “Swingers.” Best here is the closing “Bittersweet” where, with supreme poise, this mix of Climax Blues Band, Bee Gees and a hint of Steely Dan shows what today’s Jones can achieve.