On Natural History, J.D. Souther reconsiders both his hits for Linda Ronstadt and the Eagles and his own catalog of albums from the ‘70s and ‘80s. Souther’s elegance as a composer as well as his spare, rueful lyric style come through in unvarnished style on these acoustic-centered tracks. The jazz influence present on his 2008 release If the World Was You can be heard here as well, lending a low-lit nightclub ambiance to these tunes. Souther’s high tenor vocals sound seasoned and a little world-weary, adding to the wistful fatalism found in songs like “Faithless Love,” “Prisoner In Disguise” and “Go Ahead and Rain.” Singing from an older and perhaps wiser perspective, he brings a deepened insight to “New Kid In Town” and “Best of My Love.” Among other things, the album highlights the melodic sophistication of Souther’s chords and melodies — “Silver Blue” and “The Sad Café” especially shine in this stripped-down setting. For old fans and new listeners alike, Natural History makes for beautifully bittersweet listening.