Kid Creole & the Coconuts

Kiss Me Before the Light Changes

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After a four-year absence, Kid Creole & the Coconuts suddenly returned in 1995 (in Japan, anyway, with their efforts later made available in the U.S. and elsewhere), releasing two albums within two months. The second was Kiss Me Before The Light Changes, which found August "Kid Creole" Darnell reining in his previously outright comic persona in favor of heavily produced dance tracks that sometimes suggested a cross between Michael Jackson/Prince-style '80s pop-funk and his usual Caribbean influences. Of course, if you listened to the vocals that had been reduced in the mix, you heard some of Darnell's usual quirkiness, whether in "Heaven Knows," with its chorus, "Heaven knows that I love myself, " the romantic distinctions of "Stop Sweatin' Me" (e.g., "Here's the difference between you and me / You like true romance and monogamy"), or the issues of race addressed in "To Travel Sideways" (a title song for the album that preceded this one, but did not appear on it). But there was little that measured up to the musical comedy material that had characterized the Kid Creole albums of the 1980s.

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