Ken Stringfellow, one-half of power-pop duo The Posies and sometime stringer for R.E.M. and Big Star, steps out with his sophomore solo set, the aptly titled Soft Commands
. Sensual and sublime, the songs are dominated by mellow, doe-eyed reflection and wistful sentimentality. There's the shimmering, seductive "Known Diamond," more a waltz than a rocker. "Je Vous En Prie" sways like a torch song in a smoky European cabaret. "Cyclone Graves," with its soothing refrain, provides an optimistic entry: "I hope you never go blind/I hope you're more than just kind." An ideal soundtrack for lazy Sunday mornings, these sensuous melodies remain elusive yet still intriguing.