It's easy to want to hate The War of Women. First, there's Firstman himself, a foolishly attractive lad with just enough stubble to keep away truant officers. Then there are the liner notes filled with photos of him in poses with a scantily clad waif and a thank-you to "all at William Morris," the powerful Hollywood talent agency. After all that, the credibility gauge is nearly on empty. But in the end, alas, a strong dislike may be all you can muster. The opener, "Introduction to the War of Women," reveals the North Carolina-bred newcomer to be a graduate of the Cheesy-keys School of Piano, tickling the ivories over a stream of raspy-voiced clichés. The disc then touches on a plethora of radio-friendly genres -- midtempo country-rock, white-boy soul, soaring ballads -- united by superslick production and WB-network aspirations. Admittedly, Scruffy Joe is a more polished and versatile songwriter than the bulk of college-rock pretenders, even if his musings on whiskey, women and woe sometimes ring as trite as the ending of a Hugh Grant comedy. Still, some young women hoarding Hootie albums will probably find our friend to be a misunderstood dreamboat with his heart on a perfectly tattered sleeve. They can thank the good people at William Morris.