Nick Abbey / Ben Falle / Chris Foster

Brotherhood

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Recommended primarily to listeners who've completed their Earth, Wind & Fire and Kool & the Gang collections yet still feel they need another harmony funk ensemble in their lives, Brotherhood's self-titled MCA debut borrows liberally from both aforementioned acts yet never achieves a comparable level of greatness. Still, taken on its own terms, this is catchy stuff. The harmony vocals are smooth and creamy, but the grooves aren't much harder, and therein lays the problem. Moreover, it's a bit awkward to listen to music as nakedly commercial as "Top 40 Band" when the lone charting single, "Change of Pace," couldn't even make it past number 77 on the R&B chart.