Huey Lewis & the News

Small World

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Small World was another platinum hit for Huey Lewis & the News, but the album was noticeably weaker than their previous three records. Lewis tries to position himself as a socially conscious rocker -- no less than three tracks have the word "world" in their title -- writing songs about the perilous state of the environment and urging everybody to live together peacefully, since "there ain't no livin' in a perfect world." Such sanctimonious and simple lyrical platitudes would be acceptable if the band had written a set of catchy pop to support them. Instead, the group decided to stretch out, exploring rootsy American music like the zydeco of "Bobo Tempo" and the bluesy "Old Antone's." None of the musical diversions work as well as the bouncy Top Ten hit "Perfect World." However, "Perfect World" is the only song that ranks with the group's best material -- as "Give Me the Keys (And I'll Drive You Crazy)" proves, the News fail to come up with hooks that rival their earlier hits.

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