Picks and Pans Review: Love Junk

UPDATED 05/01/1989 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 05/01/1989 at 01:00 AM EDT

Pursuit of Happiness

A rock song that denounces drug use, lust, parent hating, sloth, loud music, leather jackets and youth! It's blasphemy! Or perhaps it's just "I'm an Adult Now," the funny single on this debut album by Pursuit of Happiness. The Toronto quintet has exploited a classic setup: They play conventional rock, complete with Rolling Stones-style guitar solos and a driving beat, while lead singer Moe Berg delivers lyrics that undercut every aspect of the rock lifestyle. "I don't even look at young girls anymore," he sings. "People will think I'm some kind of pervert/I find sex either boring or dirty/Young people, they get away with murder." Berg needn't worry about destroying his predatory image. His libido expresses itself so strongly in other songs that he could make Rod Stewart seem like a monk. At times he even puts a novel twist on his meditations about his favorite subject, pursuing females. In "Beautiful White," he describes the multicolored trendy clothes of his girlfriend, then adds, "When she comes to me in the morning light/She strips away the colors/Revealing beautiful white."

At its best, the band produces something admirable: irony you can dance to. Berg's preoccupation with sex becomes tedious, though, especially in the over-does-it sarcasm of "Looking for Girls," in which Berg promises to "do it to her 47,000 times." Yikes! Somebody get a leash! The band's light, bright pop style, reminiscent of Marshall Crenshaw, also gets repetitive. But Pursuit of Happiness easily shows more potential than most other first-time-out bands. Now let's see if they can resist the temptation to take the kind of music they play, and themselves, too seriously. (Chrysalis)

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