Picks and Pans Review: Blue

updated 10/20/1986 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/20/1986 01:00AM

Double

If Prince had more vision and less ego he might have hired this Swiss duo to write, if not perform, the music for his late and hardly noticed (let alone lamented) film Under the Cherry Moon. Their cool, detached technojazz has just the semi-effete tone he seemed to be trying to achieve. Singer-guitarist Kurt Maloo and drummer-keyboardist Felix Haug, both born in Zurich and in their early 30s, often seem to be gently spoofing '20s pop music in a hip kind of way with such tunes as Rangoon Moon and The Captain of Her Heart, which was already a huge international hit before it caught on here. As a vocalist, Maloo seems to have a touch of Michael Franks's disease, singing as if he were allergic to anything approaching vigor. Maloo is more expressive, in a diffident kind of way, though Double's songs are hardly as melodically or lyrically imaginative as Franks's. Saxophonist Christian Ostermeier and trombonist Bob Morgan give Double a needed charge, punctuating Maloo's vocals and providing some of the passion he lacks. The overall effect is an intriguing one. Maloo and Haug, formerly two-thirds of a trio called Ping Pong, should be worth following. (A&M)

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