Diab has avoided the sophomore jinx with There/After, delivering the goods with a dozen singer/songwriter gems. Understated country two-steppers like Champ and Found Us Again boast stirring lap steel. And, on the latter, a drop-dead gorgeous duet with Lysa Fina recalls the Parsons-Harris chemistry that to this day sets the standard. Even the fluffy tearjerker ballads come off as soulful statements of purpose in Diab's hands, largely because his humility sounds genuine. A scintillating cover of the Boss's Nebraska may indicate where his career is heading. Amer Diab plays at Mitzi's Sister Monday (May 8).