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RECORD RACK

* * * * Great Balls of Fire * * * Good Vibrations * * Maybe Baby * Running on Empty : : WATERED-DOWN GO-GO

August 02, 1987|STEVE HOCHMAN

* * 1/2 "TROUBLE OVER HERE, TROUBLE OVER THERE." Trouble Funk. Island. This could very well be the commercial breakthrough for Trouble Funk--but not for go-go music, the Washington-based, non-stop, funk-groove style that Trouble Funk has led for more than a decade. Here the quintet still shows off the loosey-goosey, polyrhythmic, James Brown-soca-Parliament/Funkadelic mix that can be heard on its irresistible 1985 album, "Saturday Night Live." But under the direction of several producers, including Bootsy Collins, Kurtis Blow and Rob Fraboni, the style is watered down with various shades of rap and reggae to the point that its distinctive character is often obscured. Only on "Sexy," which resembles a toughened Tower of Power with its blaring horns and monster beat, does the go-go really get going.

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