POP/ROCK Ricki Lee Jones - Traffic From Paradise (Geffen):
The Duchess of Coolsville is back with her seventh album of pure Ricki Lee sound: sweet, irresistible vocals sliding through quirky poems set to offbeat jazz rhythms. The 10 songs on this CD are less gritty than her earlier works. The blues are softer, and Jones's lyrics are brief, ethereal poems that hint at the wonders of life on earth. ``Little acts of kindness/ Little words of love/ Make our earthly home heaven above,'' Jones sings in ``Running From Mercy,'' with strong backing vocals from Lyle Lovett and Leo Kottke. Not to be missed: Jones's breathy rendition of ``Rebel Rebel.''