T-Spoon [Sony]

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Dutch duo T-Spoon, the product of producer Remy de Groot, has been scoring European hits since 1993 without attracting American attention, but in the wake of the worldwide success of "Sex on the Beach," Sony Music's Epic/550 Music label has taken the plunge. You can see why American record executives were hesitant. This kind of the-'70s-never-ended, highly derivative dance-pop has been done so many times it's practically generic. Maybe in the wake of Cher's retro-disco breakthrough with "Believe," Epic figured the time was right. But it's hard to imagine that the provocative "Sex on the Beach," with its endlessly repeated chorus sung by Linda Estelle, "I want sex on the beach" would have been the American summer anthem, even if it hadn't been released so late in the season. For the rest, de Groot's thoroughly recycled ideas include sampling Suzanne Vega's "Tom's Diner" on "Tom's Party" (how many times have we heard that before?) and replicating almost every Hi-NRG riff of the post-disco dance-pop era of the early '80s. Singer Greg Dillard recites the most coherent raps of the year (guess it helps if English is a second language) and attempts some Jamaican-style toasts, while Estelle is endlessly perky, which is really all that's required. Of course, every generation needs to dance, dancers can be indiscriminating, and familiar beats are often welcome on the dancefloor. But it's hard to predict that T-Spoon will be a big American success without a major push from their label and a lot of luck.

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