Jonathan Richman’s career took a spike upwards after his appearance in the 1998 film There’s Something About Mary, and that same year he released I’m So Confused, a well-realized bid for a wider audience. Ex-Cars leader (and fellow Bostonian) Ric Ocasek refreshed Richman’s sound as producer, adding a more contemporary ambiance through tasty dabs of synthesizer. Jonathan rose to the occasion by coming up with his strongest batch of songs in years. Added to his typically whimsical humor and innocent-eyed outlook is a new sense of maturity, and tunes like “If She Don’t Love Me” and “I Can’t Find My Best Friend” address grown-up concerns of life and loss. That said, the eternally youthful spirit that informs the best of his work is still present on “When I Dance,” “Nineteen In Naples” and similarly rocking tracks, and Richman reaches back to the late ‘70s for a new version of “Affection,” one of his most winningly idealistic songs. Throughout, his boisterous vocals and snappy guitar touch are given able support by Tommy Larkin’s minimal but punchy drumming.