Robbie Nevil

Robbie Nevil

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A reviewer once said of Nevil "he dresses like a member of INXS but sounds like a Caribbean funk machine." He or she might well have added that he's incredibly patient, because he waited two years for producer Alex Sadkin. With the addition of Phil Thornally, they set out to capture the sound of future pop, encompassing marimbas, percussion, and exotic keyboard textures next to good old fashioned guitar and a sturdy backbeat. Still not too far ahead of its time, the sound captured public imagination, ending up in the U.S. billboard chart for up to a year after release, courtesy of the first single "C'est La Vie." "Dominoes" followed -- a risky move that could have been the end, if it wasn't for "Wot's It to Ya," a catchy little ditty with a witty video. That song kept Nevil in the spotlight in America and narrowly missed the U.K. chart, peaking at number 41. Other hits could have been: "Back to You," a superb ballad; "Simple Life" (which really does sound like a Caribbean funk machine); and "Look Who's Alone Tonight," another stunning ballad covered by Felix Cavaliere on his 1993 Dreams in Motion album. More madcap is the penultimate track "Neighbors," which details the crazy antics of a street and its inhabitants, and most of all, showcases an amazing vocal range from Nevil.

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