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POP CAPSULES

Starpoint Takes The Ballad Path

May 26, 1986|CONNIE JOHNSON

Though it's riding high on two recent dance hits ("Object of My Desire" and "Restless"), Starpoint showed even more flair for balladry during its confident, enthusiastic set at the half-filled Universal Amphitheatre Saturday night. That skill could win the sextet crossover success not unlike that of Atlantic Starr, a group it resembles stylistically. Starpoint's standout member is Renee Diggs, an attractive singer with enough presence and showy vocal moves to enhance even the less challenging tunes.

The second-billed Jets elicited screams befitting their teen-dream status and showed a professionalism you wouldn't expect from a group whose youngest member is 12. Their own hits--most notably the ingratiating "Crush on You"--were well received, but it was the Minneapolis group's energetic rendition of Prince's "I Would Die 4 You" and "Baby I'm a Star" that were really memorable.

After a long delay before taking the stage, Alexander O'Neal performed only two songs--neither of them "Saturday Love," his blistering duet with Cherrelle that's dominated black radio for several weeks. Currently Luther Vandross' strongest competition in the R&B male singer category, O'Neal has a manly, wholly distinctive vocal style that was crowd-pleasing, even if his leave-'em-wanting-a- lot- more attitude wasn't. Vocal duo Sly Fox opened the show with a lively, celebrative set.

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