The City Beat is a project from keyboardist/guitarist Joe Tansin, who does all of the writing and producing on After Dark. This entirely instrumental CD was aimed at the NAC market, and its liner notes give the impression that it consists of evocative, nocturnal mood music--something to conjure up thoughts of a big city's skyline on a warm summer night. But because the music is so stiff, so contrived and so unsexy, all it conjures up thoughts of is a record company marketing meeting. Some might think of Tansin's bloodless, mechanical instrumentals as a form of jazz, but what he's playing is simply instrumental pop and new age with occasional jazz overtones. Instrumental pop isn't a bad thing if it's done with creativity--the problem is that creativity is missing from this collection of boring, mundane background muzak. After Dark is a CD to keep your distance from.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson