Picks and Pans Review: In Praise of Older Women and Other Crimes

updated 08/26/1985 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/26/1985 01:00AM

Kid Creole and the Coconuts

Forget Ricky Ricardo and his ruffled orchestra and his babalooing. If there were an I Love Lucy Tropicana Club in this day and age, the house band would have to be Kid Creole and the Coconuts. Finding the right setting for this band is indeed much easier than describing its sound. Imagine a zoot-suited band leader conversant with a wildly eclectic variety of musical styles. Back him with an eager rhythm section, screwball horn players, a shrieky female chorus and filter the result through a Latino funk spirit. To complicate the mix, writer-singer August Darnell (Kid Creole) brings the same sense of off-beat, mocking humor to his odd repertoire that Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks brought to country swing. In this, Kid Creole's fourth album, he spoofs a 1940s ballad with He Can Have You, which resembles Deep Purple performed by a grass-skirt band. With Particul'y Int'rested, he kills two birds with one stone, sending up '50s doo-wop and surf music in the same song. There are also a number of energetic, contemporary tunes, driven by a bounding Afro-Cuban beat. Though In Praise of Older Women may be too diffuse a bundle for some tastes, it is the most enjoyably exotic mélange in the record racks. (Sire)

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