Curiosity Killed the Cat

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They infuriated some with their teen pinup poses and faux-jazzy style, but on their second outing, Curiosity Killed the Cat loosened up a bit and delivered the goods, as well as the looks. The British quartet worked with a multitude of producers (including fusion bassist Nathan East, and New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint), yet the across-the-board result is an album that's much funkier and more impressive than the band's debut. The best examples are the two smashing tracks that bookend the disc, "Name and Number" and "Keep on Trying"; each is powered by beats not far removed from the new jack swing then tearing up the clubs. But the other ten cuts also offer evidence of groove-heavy growth, including the percussion-laden "Go Go Ahead," and "Trees Don't Grow on Money," which has a twisted (yet still danceable) rhythm to match its backward title. Singer Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot and his bandmates make only an occasional lapse into cushiony fuzak, as on "Something New, Something Blue," but keep the focus on the harder-hitting funk numbers. That approach seemed to promise even better things ahead, but the group split after a final album several years later.

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