This NYC outfit was primed for continued success but with this second album, they pulled further back into their own thing and offered more focus on acoustic instrumentation. This is quite similar to the debut, except with less of the blatant disco elements. All this didn’t help this group commercially, but it certainly helped create another timeless set.
While this again mixes all kinds of styles from the past and takes plenty of risks, it’s also quite cohesive. Some have pointed out an experimental quality to this album, but the songs are also accessible pop music. This blending of pop styles must have had an influence on other artists.
While the instrumentations come from many sources, Cory Daye’s wonderful vocals are at the front of much of the material, and the influence this band had on vocalist Sade is especially clear on this album. Of course, this is a bit more playful and considerably more interesting.
And the influences go beyond the obvious.
While Quincy Jones likely had an influence on this music, this band probably also inspired Mr. Jones. And I can’t help wonder if we would have had Purple Rain without albums such as this one. Rain is a completely different album, but both sets have an ambitious and adventurous quality, and both run through a variety of sounds while still sounding cohesive.
While this didn’t sell well, and even today some might find this set a disappointment after their classic debut, this still has plenty of charm. In fact, it has charm to spare.
It’s a set you could play for your great-grandma or your teenage daughter, and you’d probably get grins from both of them. It’s another fine example of their neo-retro pop music.
Stoney Browder, Jr.: production, music, vocals, guitar, piano