Picks and Pans Review: Looking at You

updated 05/27/1985 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/27/1985 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Chaz Jankel

Jankel has had a modicum of success as a songwriter. During his stint with Ian Dury & the Blockheads, he penned the smash, Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick. As a soloist he saw his Glad To Know You clamber onto the dance charts. His fourth solo album amounts to an obsequious attempt to curry favor with the neo-disco crowd. Laden with overproduced effects, woodpecker percussion and canned horns, this record is too often hectic and too seldom passionate. There are some interesting melodic interludes in Little Eva and Tell Me, Tell Me. But the most atypical song on the album, the title track, is also the best. It's perky pop right out of the Paul McCartney Charm School. Jankel's first record in 1981 was hauntingly beautiful, mostly instrumental jazz piano spiced with salsa. This commercial quagmire sounds like the work of a different performer. (A&M)

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