The Blow Monkeys

Animal Magic

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Another British band that incorporated R&B influences into its pop/rock sound, the Blow Monkeys (led by Bruce Robert Howard, aka Dr. Robert) scored a Top 20 single in the U.S. with the engaging "Digging Your Scene," which featured nasal lead vocals and a swirling mixture of keyboards, guitar, and female background cooing. Like Scritti Politti, the Blow Monkeys possessed a quirkiness that set them apart from other bands of their ilk, which may have limited further success in the States. The band's 1986 album Animal Magic surrounds the hit with similar pop frivolities like the catchy "Wicked Ways" and the upbeat "Don't Be Scared of Me." Though the band overreaches a bit with the ballad "Heaven Is a Place I'm Moving To" and the title track's silly attempt at exotica, most of Animal Magic is pleasant and intelligent enough to make it a better-than-usual release from a 1980s one-hit wonder.

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