Picks and Pans Review: Pandemonium
Most pop music reunions are pretty sad affairs, a bunch of guys still desperately trying to milk a gravy train that has long since left the station. The Time, that jolly Twin Cities funk outfit, is an exception in that their popularity actually peaked after they broke up in 1985, and the reputations of such band members as Jimmy "Jam" Harris, Terry Lewis, Morris Day, and Jesse Johnson have only grown since then.
The septet takes up where it left off. That is, the melodies aren't models of compositional ingenuity and the lyrics don't say a lot (even on the one uncharacteristic stab at a message song, 'It's Your World"). This is just glib, goosey, good-time music, uncomplicated and larksome. The band locks into solid grooves in a Minneapolis funk vein on the title track and "Jerk Out," and they don't let go until you submit.
The hardest thing to swallow about the group has always been front man Morris Day. But Day continues to get great mileage out of his comic narcissist character, with roles in ABC's summer sitcom New Attitude, in the Andrew Dice Clay film, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, and in the upcoming Prince film, Graffiti Bridge. And his extravagantly mannered vocal delivery works well on Pandemonium, particularly on the spoofier songs such as ' "Chocolate."
If nothing else, Day's theatrical presence will make the videos more interesting. (Paisley Park/Reprise)