If you're on the fence about whether music from American Idol alumnus Constantine Maroulis is worth your time, consulting the cover art could help. Those who swooned over his dark good looks in 2005 will be swayed again instantly. And in the end, that won't be a bad thing. Constantine, the former contestant's first solo album (fans will note that Pray for the Soul of Betty, a 2005 release, was the work of a band to which Constantine contributed vocals prior to his TV turn) rocks hard, rejects infantile songwriting, and leaves no room for duds--each of its 12 tracks surprises with a maturity you wouldn't necessarily expect from a guy who got his big break on TV. The opening piano plinks of "Girl Like You" give way to a Santana-esque romp, "Everybody Loves" brings out the Freddy Mercury in Maroulis' likable if not overly pliant voice, and "Sister, Sister"--one of a few numbers co-written by Maroulis--steals hearts with a sharp turn away from the predictable; here's a song about sibling love from an artist who some would expect to focus on lusty joints. Constantine's producers play it straight and don't get overly fancy, but that's not to say the disc is without flourishes. The sizzle Constantine normally reserves for the camera slips directly into these songs.