He's the king of broken hearts. But that's only one version of Chris Isaak. On stage he's another persona altogether: a jokester in sequins and pink silk, a man who jumps offstage at the end of the show and waits till every last swooning young woman has had a chance to get his autograph.

It is this irresistible combination -- the melancholic romantic and the accessible, high-energy boy next door -- that has made Isaak a favorite with fans since his blockbuster single "Wicked Game" in 1991.Isaak performed in Salt Lake City that year, opening for Bonnie Raitt at the old Parkwest. On Sunday, Dec. 6, he'll be back as his own headliner, performing at Kingsbury Hall, on the University of Utah campus, at 7:30 p.m., with his band, the Silvertones. Opening for Isaak will be Jude.

Isaak has been in Utah this past year filming "Shepherd," a movie in which he plays Southern sheriff Emerson Cotswold, opposite Amy Irving and Tom Arnold. But he must have come through Utah on other occasions, too (unless he just needed a rhyme for "pretty"). On his newest album we find this clue:

I got the picture

That you finally sent,

I read your letter

And I knew what you meant.

That's you and me in Salt Lake City,

You sure look pretty.

Wish we could go back again.

Those are the opening lines of "Don't Get So Down on Yourself," one of 14 tracks on "Speak of the Devil," released this fall. The "devil" Isaak speaks of, he told the Associated Press in an interview last month, is any beautiful woman. "The type of woman who, when she walks by, you'd be talking to your friend about your pancreatic cancer surgery, and suddenly you see his eyes glaze over, and as you're talking, his head swivels past."

Critics have praised the album as more adventurous, more soaring but also at times more lyrically dark than his previous albums. Isaak fans will still find plenty of heartache and longing, too, and the Roy Orbisonesque style that first caught their attention in "Wicked Game."

Isaak had been playing to a devoted following in the San Francisco area for years and had released "Wicked Game" on an album in 1989, before movie director David Lynch picked the song for "Wild at Heart" in 1991. That's when the song, and Isaak's career, took off.

He hasn't had a hit that big since then, but his following has grown. His fans like the smooth dreaminess of his voice and a professional and personal style that harkens back to the 1950s.

A respected surfer, Isaak still lives in his modest Sunset, Calif., rowhouse. Doesn't drink. Doesn't smoke or do drugs. Wears a pompadour. Collects Pat Boone records. Has had his heart broken more than once.

How can you not like a guy like that?