Picks and Pans Review: New Power Soul

updated 08/03/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/03/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

New Power Generation (NPG Records)

Like an old master whose great allegorical works are behind him, the pop artist now known as is content to groove merrily along, offering 10 dance party jams that bounce and roll but have little to say. His interest in songcraft seems to have gone the nonverbal way of his discarded name. Where his lyrics were once as much a part of his music's mix as his propulsive, polyrhythmic arrangements, here he settles for uninspired wordplay: "Every while in a great once, there comes 2 town a show." Not exactly the sort of poetic licentiousness that helped make his albums 1999 and Sign 'O' the Times pop music masterpieces. With the exception of "The One," a lovelorn, dirge-paced ballad, and a single hidden track (No. 49), this CD is meant to inspire party feet, not to express emotion. For that, go back to the catalog of albums by a guy named Prince.—S.D

Bottom Line: Those who coast always go downhill

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