LISSIE, When I’m Alone: The Piano Retrospective (Lionboy/Cooking Vinyl): 3½

Simple piano-and-vocal arrangements highlight the sturdy bones of Lissie Maurus’ melodic compositions, while freeing warm vocal nuances buried under production on recent recordings. The title track of last year’s slick “Castles” particularly benefits from the stripped-down approach, though it’s most gratifying to hear her resurrect earlier gems like the hooky “Sleepwalking” and “Don’t You Give Up on Me,” which sounds more commandingly persuasive here. “Love Blows” calls out for more instruments, but she believably delivers Fleetwood Mac and Dixie Chicks covers like personal missives. At Largo at the Coronet in LA May 1 and 3. lissie.com

CLAUDE FONTAINE, Claude Fontaine (Innovative Leisure): 3

An unlikely mix of reggae, Brazilian bossa nova and classic vocal pop that somehow strangely works, with Fontaine’s breathy vocals floating atop like sweet meringue. There’s a slight but winsome charm to her songs; they work best during the first, reggae-dominated half (especially seductive jam “Cry for Another”) — partly because of the sheer incongruity of the genre mix, and largely due to beefy support from veteran players like King Tubby guitarist Tony Chin, drummer Airto Moreira and Steel Pulse bassist Ronnie McQueen. innovativeleisure.net/artists/claude-fontaine

KELLY FINNIGAN, The Tales People Tell (Colemine): 3½

The Bay Area artist, keyboardist and producer steps away from fronting the Monophonics with a solo debut showcasing him as an attentive student of classic soul. Arrangements crackle with smartly charted horns, organ, a gritty rhythm section and swooping harmonies that evoke the heyday of Motown; that AM radio-ready sound grabs the ear before the songs do. A natural showman (his dad’s veteran keyboardist Mike Finnigan), Finnigan’s instincts best serve tracks with more rhythmic punch like “I Don’t Wanna Wait,” “Smoking & Drinking” and “I Called You Back Baby.” RIYL Curtis Harding and Michael Kiwanuka. At the Mint in LA Friday, April 26. kellyfinnigan.com

RODRIGO Y GABRIELA, Mettavolution (Rubyworks/ATO): 3

The storm of sound Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero generate from their two acoustic guitars has long been a feat worth witnessing, with Quintero’s inspiring percussive rhythmic attack supporting Sanchez’s ripping leads. That remains true on this seven-track set, which integrates rock and flamenco influences with unexpected contemplative turns. Transposing the prog-rock spaceyness of Pink Floyd’s epic “Echoes” into a more compact, 19-minute instrumental theme of rumination and renewal makes that track the most attention-getting, but the dynamic shifts and fused genre elements of “Cumbé,” “Terracentric” and “Electric Soul” are equally substantive. rodgab.com