Picks and Pans Review: Turn Back the Clock

UPDATED 04/11/1988 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 04/11/1988 at 01:00 AM EDT

Johnny Hates Jazz

All right, he probably can't read either. But as this attractive debut collection proves, Johnny sure can come up with some elegant and catchy pop tunes. Johnny Hates Jazz is actually a trio made up of two Englishmen and an expatriate American, all veterans of the composing and production end of the music business. But Calvin Hayes, Clark Datchler and Mike Nocito have definitely had their ears open and show talent on the performing side too—Datchler on lead vocals, his mates on keyboards. Shattered Dreams and the title track sound like something from the Mike and the Mechanics record that was such a big hit a couple of years ago or like the overlooked debut album by Wax. Don't Let It End This Way shows potential for jazzier sophistication. Overall, this is a grab bag of sturdy, streamlined and infectious midtempo melodies. A lot of them resemble those felicitous ditties that spring up on the radio from groups you never heard before and never hear again. Johnny Hates Jazz, though, is likable enough to make you hope this record isn't a first-time-lucky confluence of attractive material and effective delivery. (Virgin)

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