Gran Torino

Two

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With an ultra-clean, bright funk sound, Gran Torino make their way through a tightly arranged disc of concise explorations, their sophomore effort. Greatly static in their style, their poppy sound is somewhat sterile, with vocalist Don Ford occasionally peaking into Rod Stewart-like territory. Some of the instrumental arrangements remain compelling in their tightness, such as the middle section of "Make It," but quickly yield to pop and disco breakdowns. Throughout the disc -- the intro to "Moments With You," for example -- the band makes forays into studio-induced sound effects and vocal processing with little success. The music is highly danceable, but it's hard to imagine it existing anywhere outside of the studio.

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