Hue & Cry

Next Move

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Next Move is the 11th album in a career that took off after Hue and Cry, the stage name of brothers Pat Kane and Greg Kane, opened for Madonna in 1986. Since then, they have done quite well, sitting at the U.K. Top of the Charts on more than one occasion. The album combines elements of jazz, rock, and pop. To better assess the performance, the album should be broken up into two categories, the music and the words, which rarely come together here, at least in the way generally represented in jazz vocalizing. The music takes your breath away. After the first few bars of the opening tune, your hips are bouncing and your foot is tapping to the beats of heavy bass and keyboard-created organ weaving in, out, and around a wailing soprano sax all driven by Ian Thomas' often jagged, dissonant drum rhythms. The wildest cut on the CD is "24/7," a raucous six-plus minutes on the musical wild side leaving you gasping. Since the words can barely be heard over the music, the lyrics to the tunes and Pat Kane's vocalizing are irrelevant, except for the two ballads on the set.

The lyrics to these tunes are another matter. Most of them are depressing, maudlin, or whining and tell stories of protagonists who always seem to be hurting. "Once in a Lifetime" asks the question "Will I jump or step back when I hear the whip crack?," a modern-day version of the conundrum expressed in Hamlet's "To be or not to be?" The two ballads, "Sonny Cried," by Harry Connick, Jr., and "Pawn of the Weekend" also relate hapless situations. The latter is the last cut on the album and is a welcome respite from the wildness that preceded it. Interesting music that it is, the protagonist is another loser as he is "last to be set up, first to be used, rules of the contest are not his to choose." This album is not for those who have recently experienced emotional trauma.

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