Baton Rouge

Shake Your Soul

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AllMusic Review by

The bayou boys of Baton Rouge rode in on the final hair wave, injecting just a hint of funk (not enough to make a difference). Unlike the band's innovative brethren in Faith No More or even Extreme, Baton Rouge concentrates on nothing more challenging than the age-old concept of girls, girls, and more girls; this limited paradigm considerably constricted the group's commercial impact in the angst-ridden '90s, but sure makes Shake Your Soul a fun spin. The big-bang production, shot through with crystal keyboards, conjures bands like Warrant that hurt hair's credibility, as well as talented units like T-Ride that suffered thereafter. Anyone with a passing interest in party metal will enjoy connecting the dots: "Doctor" burns to the bone, "Young Hearts" apes Rod Stewart (or is it Axe?), and lead huffer Kelly Keeling's Hagar-isms are impossible to ignore on "Baby's So Cool" and radio flash "Walks Like a Woman" (which strategically name-checks the album). "There Was a Time" quotes REO and Bryan Adams (or are these phrases just so trite the source is lost forever?) plus the almighty Aerosmith. The quintet even cops to cliché-wielding when showing a softer side in "It's About Time." Most telling, "Melenie" actually derives from misunderstood maestro Winger's "Madalaine." None of the above tunes, nor the powers of Jack Ponti (whose mighty micro-movement also included Alice Cooper and China Rain), made Shake Your Soul anything more than a fading footnote in the history of hair, but nothing's wrong with wanting nothing but a good time.

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