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Wham! Scrams

July 13, 1986|DENNIS HUNT

"MUSIC FROM THE EDGE OF HEAVEN." Wham! Columbia. As everyone probably knows by now, Wham! has split up. This farewell album, half ballads and half uptempo tunes, is rather dreary. George Michael, who did an admirable job on the first Wham! album, turns in a rather feeble effort.

Most of the LP consists of relatively recent material, but the songs sound like rejects from earlier recording sessions. One side is ballads, the other is supposedly up-to-the-minute pop/funk, complete with rapping and scratching.

Occasionally, as on "I'm Your Man," the beat on uptempo songs is soulful, but the vocals are never more than half-hearted and pseudo-hip. And Michael's rapping on "Wham! Rap '86" is downright rotten--absolutely no feel for black street rhythms.

The ballad side is no better. Michael, who normally has an effective, hard-edged, white-soul style, doesn't stretch out on any of them. He sings with no particular conviction about romantic pitfalls. The soppy, meandering "A Different Corner," a Top 10 single, is the worst of the lot. Most likely to be touched by these ballads are Michael's panting young female fans, who seem to like anything he sings. This album is not for those with discriminating tastes.

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