Picks and Pans Review: Inside Out

updated 06/02/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/02/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Philip Bailey

This album from the former Earth, Wind and Fire vocalist is like a crate filled with Styrofoam noodles and one small piece of plutonium. The packing material is nine cuts of slick but generic soul-funk pop, or maybe it's pop-funk soul. Who can tell? The pure weapons-grade dance material is State of the Heart, not that you would know it was anything from that title. The first 2.3 seconds alone can make your back arch spasmodically and your tongue leap and wiggle as the percussive intro whiplashes from left speaker to right speaker—an old ploy, but one executed to perfection. The melody is insinuating and the bass line is nasty, the kind of thing that can make you drop to your knees like James Brown and shout, "The error of my ways has been revealed to me and from here on I will endeavor to lead a virtuous life!" Or words to that effect. The best part is that State of the Heart is the first single off the album. Buy the 45, skip the LP. You'll miss nothing and save about $7, which you can put toward your first visit to the back specialist to have your lumbar region realigned. (Columbia)

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