M People

Bizarre Fruit

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AllMusic Review by

The Manchester, England-based trio M People scored in 1994 with a series of British Top Ten hits from its debut album Elegant Slumming; both "Moving on Up" and "One Night in Heaven" became U.S. dance club smashes, thanks to an endearing mixture of house and R&B, and Heather Small's startling vocal presence. Fortunately, M People did not suffer the dreaded sophomore slump; the 1995 release Bizarre Fruit continues in much the same vein as its predecessor. Bizarre Fruit is chock-full of funky house grooves, and Small's deep, soulful vocals add just the right touch to the mix, making M People considerably warmer than most contemporary dance acts. The "Moving on Up" soundalike "Open Your Heart" was a major club success in its own right. In addition to the obvious dance appeal, "Open Your Heart," like most of M People's music, has a touch of '70s R&B in the mix. The album's opener, "Sight for Sore Eyes," has a grandiose gospel-influenced intro before kicking into the funky groove and a melody similar to Technotronic's "Pump Up the Jam." The jazzy "Search for the Hero," and the retro-soul tune "Precious Pearl" are also highlights. M People, unlike many mid-'90s dance music acts like C+C Music Factory and the Real McCoy, deserves kudos for releasing an album just as entertaining and consistent as its debut. Bizarre Fruit is a worthy follow-up to Elegant Slumming and should please those who enjoy a little soul when hitting the dancefloor. .

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