Leave the Light On

***1/2

Jeff Bates' smooth, sensuous voice wraps itself naturally around the sultry ballads on his sexy second album—seductive numbers like "No Shame" and "Long, Slow Kisses," a favorite from his debut that leads off Leave the Light On in its re-recorded hit version. But there's life outside the bedroom, as Jeff peppers his romantic entreaties with honky-tonk high times ("Good People") and lessons from the school of hard knocks that come across as sentimental, but not sappy ("Mama Was a Lot Like Jesus," the new single "One Second Chance"). He sings it all like a man who's lived it.

— Sylvia Lynch