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It's never easy to tell which Rod Stewart will show up in the grooves of a new album, given potential guises as varied as the cocky rocker, the treacly balladeer, and the burnished soul smoothie. Fortunately, he sticks to the latter persona for most of this disc, his most consistently compelling outing in a long spell. Yes, the years have taken something of a toll on his voice, but that weathered rasp sounds right at home on soul stirrers like the title track and "Smitten," the latter of which also features a turn by its composer, Macy Gray. Those songs, like most of Human, find Stewart shelving his brashness and putting his vulnerability on display, which makes songs like "Don't Come Around Here," a sweet duet with newcomer Helicopter Girl, as open and charming as anything in his considerable catalog. There are swaths -- notably "Soul on Soul" and "Loveless" -- so redolent of elevator music that you can practically see the "open door" button looming in front of you, but those moments are outweighed by off-the-wall digressions like the gentle trip-hop of "Charlie Parker Loves Me." While it's tough to say what the sax legend would really think of Rod the Mod, it's safe to say that longtime fans will find plenty to love on this disc, which lives up to its name with plenty of flesh-and-blood passion.