Keegan Smith 

Special Delivery

Keegan Smith has a pleasant voice and a fine command of rhythm, but his attempts at Jay Sean-style autotune ballads ("Morning Comes," "Fresh Air"), and—even worse—at boy-band flavored disco-funk ("Dancing Shoes") do nothing to locate this Portland musician outside of the easy listening corral. Smith appears to have fans in Portland; he recently won an online music survey there. But the music isn't in the same edgy vein as, say, Blind Pilot or Explode Into Colors.

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Special Delivery is Smith's homage to new fatherhood, and where he isn't trying too hard, these lightly funky, reggae-infused numbers are rather sweet. Smith trots out the usual clichés about the power of babies—about feeling "Brand New" and trusting everything is going to be "Just Fine"—in a style that recalls Jamiroquai or late Red Hot Chili Peppers. On "Relapse," a piano blues number, Smith manages to hit the right note of a knowing, debauched experience we expect from a cocktail bar confession tune, but he still sounds closer to Randy Newman in Disney mode than to Dr. John.

Maybe this is appropriate for a new father: Smith's mojo will work on toddlers and septuagenarians, but don't expect me to put on my "Dancing Shoes."

Keegan Smith plays the Palace Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 9 PM with Darshan Pulse. $5.

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