Harlan T. Bobo (Goner Records)

In his early 40s, Memphis singer-songwriter Harlan T. Bobo seemed to emerge out of nowhere with his critically acclaimed 2003 debut, Too Much Love — an intensely autobiographical meditation on obsession, passion, and pain that was spurred by a failed romance. His long-in-the-making follow-up, I’m Your Man, is a somewhat less tortured affair. Much of the album sounds as if it were written under the influence of MOR godhead Lee Hazlewood. In many ways, the record plays like one of Hazlewood’s conceptual late-night platters — that is to say, it’s an album pickled in scotch, cured in cigarette smoke, and steeped in regret.When you hear the charmingly gruff Bobo sing-speak his way through the verses of “My Life,” lamenting how he won’t ever have the “family of his dreams,” it’s clear that the songs are less about being in the desperate throes of heartbreak and more about dealing with the dashed dreams and postmortem realities of a dead love affair. Bobo isn’t just a purveyor of musical gloom and doom, though. Several songs hint at a lighter range of influences: Check out the curiously loping title track, which sounds like Harry Nilsson recasting Billy Swan’s devotional “I Can Help,” and the intricate Beach Boys harmonies that flash across “Baptist Memorial Hospital.” It’s almost as if somewhere, lurking beneath all the bruised emotions, there’s a sunny pop tunesmith waiting to break free. - B.M.