Coupling Debbie Harry and partner Chris Stein with Chic's Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards sure seems like a good idea. Add H.R. Giger's stunning cover art and KooKoo should have been a winner. Too bad everyone forgot to bring the songs. Harry's stern delivery over the funky backing winds up sounding forced, with lyrics that are clumsy and limited. "Inner City Spillover" starts off promising enough, but its metaphor of bricks in the city that fall on people's heads and end up paving serene suburban Maine roads hangs around four minutes too long. KooKoo has plenty of these clever and absurd moments that worked well when casually tossed about by Blondie, but they never based the whole song around them. "Backfired" is the most embarrassing, as it tries to recreate "Rapture"'s winning formula without the compelling groove, and "Under Arrest" is new wave funk-pop at its most generic and unsophisticated. The album's overall cynicism would be easier to take if Harry offered some answers or at least a viewpoint. Only the inspired funk of "The Jam Was Moving" deserves any attention, with Harry finally sounding comfortable.
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AllMusic Review by David Jeffries