John Cruz's relaxed backyard funk shares some DNA -- not to mention a lei-strewn home state -- with Jack Johnson, but Cruz shows more range, starting out bluesy but quickly diving into dreamy, extremely personal, romantic territory. Few tracks hit hard: Guitar trips lightly across songs that continue to undulate under the surface, even when they rock. But the songwriter can poke fun at himself, too. "I feel so good I wanna seize the day," he sings, "but it just might be the eye of a hurricane." His take on the classic "Hi'ilawe" will make you wish he sang in Hawaiian more often.