Picks and Pans Review: Going for Broke
It would be sad if last year's Killer on the Rampage proved no more than a blip on the creativity scope. But Going for Broke makes Grant's Killer look even more like a serendipitous occurrence in which every aspect of his art was compounded to maximum effect. On Killer his blend of reggae, rock and funk and his distinctive use of synthesizers came into brilliant focus. The success of the single Electric Avenue made the album more than just one of those trees in the forest that only the oddball reviewer hears falling. Romancing the Stone, the first single from this album, is closest to Killer in feel, in the texture of its slappy synthesized bass line. The rest of the album just misses by microns. Grant, who lives in Barbados, still plays all the instruments himself (except for some horns, which he arranged) and gets more bandlike feeling and detail than most people going the please-Mother-I'd-rather-do-it-myself route. He is an endearing, instantly recognizable singer whose voice conveys a welcoming, island-inflected casualness. But with the exception of Only Heaven Knows and Ire Harry, the songs often seem unshapely or tedious. Listening to this album and comparing it to Killer makes you more grateful for the art people can produce, and more aware of how fragile that art can be. (Portrait/CBS)
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