Otis Day & the Knights

Shout

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Talk about a cash-in effort -- this CD fits into an unusual popular recording category: the album as a response to fiction. Ruben & The Jets, Naz Nomad & The Nightmares, and the infamous Masked Marauders are occupants of the same category, albeit in different divisions. There is no Otis Day and the Knights, really -- they were the "band," fronted by singer DeWayne Jesse, playing the toga party and the road house in Animal House, and Jesse did such a good job and got so much lingering exposure from that mega-hit film in its theatrical, television, and home video runs, that he was soon playing the college circuit as "Otis Day and the Knights." Then came this album, by DeWayne Jesse and Amelia Jesse, co-produced by television/music veteran Topper Carew. Unfortunately, "Shout" can't decide whether it wants to be a good period R&B/dance album, or a contemporary funk recording. It isn't too distinctive in the latter category, although the ballad "Ice Melting" is pretty good, and the two covers from the movie, "Shout" and "Shamalama Ding Dong," aren't as effective here as they were in Animal House. Indeed, "Shamalama Ding Dong" ought to have been a superb track, but it is marred by the use of electric drums over a rather sweet arrangement. It's not terrible, but renting Animal House is more fun.

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