BOO HEWERDINE Harmonograph (MVine)

On his sixth solo album, former Bible singer/songwriter/guitarist Boo Hewerdine presents his own freshly-minted versions of songs he’d written for others, the list of benefactors including Eddi Reader, Hepburn and the Nashville Bluegrass Band. In his hands these pillow-soft songs are bathed in arrangements that are often little more than acoustic guitar, sympathetic electronics and delicately nuanced harmonies.

When it’s good, this is grown-up pop confectionery of a rare quality. Examine “Slow Learner”, for example, exquisitely understated, cryptic and enticing, the accumulating unease of “Sing To Me”, or the Ivor Novello-nominated “Patience Of Angels”, all songs that feed and flower in repeated listening. The closing alfresco “I Felt Her Soul Move Through Me”, an English country garden kind of spiritual, cuts through any lingering suspicion that Hewerdine’s stock in trade is cloying, Hallmark sentimentality: he’s just doing the best he can in the way he knows how.