Picks and Pans Review: Music from the Edge of Heaven

updated 08/18/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/18/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Wham!

There's some nostalgia connected with this album, of course, since George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley have announced they're breaking up the act. Now this is not exactly the disbanding of the Vienna Choir Boys we're talking about: While Michael and Ridgeley have sung together for six years, Wham! has only existed for four. But as this album shows, they have polished their obviously keen instinct for neo-Hall & Oates commercial pop to a high gloss. The melodic, rhythmic and lyric hooks in Battlestations, for instance, are eminently catchy: "All I'm trying to give you is a good time, honey/ Why d'ya have to keep on playing games with my head." An extended version of the pair's Last Christmas is equally alluring, at a slow tempo. One track, Blue, was recorded during the quixotic Wham! tour to China in April 1985. There's even Wham! Rap '86, which, if it's not Grandmaster Flash-level stuff, isn't Rodney Dangerfield, either. The album is so uniformly enjoyable that it seems a shame to think the two musicians won't be performing together anymore. At least Wham! is going out with a bang. (Columbia)

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