High Inergy

Steppin' Out

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Steeped in Berry Gordy's Motown tradition and touted as the next Supremes, High Inergy had already tasted the top of the charts with their 1977 debut, which spawned the number two hit single "You Can't Turn Me Off (In the Middle of Turning Me On)." Clearly, Steppin' Out was designed to reach even higher. Packed with smooth vocal arrangements that occasionally do resemble the artistry of the Supremes crossed with a disco-pop sound, the album flipped between dancefloor steppers and soul ballads. The formula was there for success, but luck was not on High Inergy's side. The album just cracked the Top 20. The songs themselves are good, if a bit bland. "Lovin' Fever" is sweet and, despite its disco groove, easily recalls the innocence of love in true Motown style. "You Captured My Heart," on the other hand, is a sophisticated, sultry number with excellent vocals and even better instrumentation completing the mood, as horns and guitar provide a smattering of funk. "We Are the Future," meanwhile, despite gracing the film Almost Summer, feels like celluloid filler, and "Fly Little Blackbird" falls by the wayside. Steppin' Out is a respectable album, but remains uneven across its tracks despite some really special moments. It is the sound of a band learning to find a niche.

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