Picks and Pans Review: I, Too, Have Seen the Woods

updated 08/17/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/17/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Kid Creole and the Coconuts

Time for another carafe of that musical variety of tropical punch that is the specialty of this most refreshing and engaging outfit. As always, Kid Creole and the Coconuts evince a rush hour crowd of influences that takes in Afro-Cuban, a little Swing Era jazz, soul, salsa and most of the Caribbean basin. They bring that concoction to a rapid fizz with splashy horns and a beat that will hijack you out of your chair. At times the band's approach is so playful it seems they are spoofing a particular style, as on the Isley Brothers-like So Far, So Good. But they illuminate nearly everything they touch with imagination and spirit. The Kid, August Darnell, is also uncommonly literate. The verses of Agony...Ecstasy, a dance tune with darting synthesizers, are taken from a Shakespearean sonnet ("Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments..." etc.). For this, ol' Bill S.garners a songwriting credit. Unlike earlier Kid Creole albums, this record runs out of steam midway through the second side. But that's a minor failing. While it's right, I, Too is a stone delight. (Sire)

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