Picks and Pans Review: Touch and Go

updated 09/07/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/07/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Force M.D.'s

Staten Island, the borough in New York City from which this satisfying young vocal quartet hails, forms the link between the urban crucible of Brooklyn and the semisuburban sprawl of New Jersey. It shares characteristics of both. On their third and best album, the Force M.D.'s have created an enchanting mood suitable to the old neighborhood. Touch and Go is a tweener, an all-but-undo-able hybrid of silken balladry and hot dance music. Up at ear level are calmly measured tempos, old-fashioned soul harmonies and the gazellelike falsetto of T.C.D. (Antoine Lundy). But down around your hips an entirely different message is being received from the insidious bass and percussion attack that percolates away on every song. You get beauty and the beast all in one package, which is wrapped most tightly on the delightful Take Your Love Back. Most of the time Touch and Go sounds like Smokey Robinson singing with pop-funksters Ready For the World. The boys manage to walk the fine stylistic line they've created on all but two songs: the sugary Sweet Dreams and the blasé Midnite Lover. For the rest of the album, you may be torn between clasping your dancing partner close or gyrating away on your own. You sure won't be sitting still. (Tommy Boy)

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