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RECORD RACK

Forceful Funk : * * * * Great Balls of Fire * * * Good Vibrations * * Maybe Baby * Running on Empty :

December 06, 1987|CONNIE JOHNSON and Check List and **** Great Balls of Fire and *** Good Vibrations ** Maybe Baby * Running on Empty

** 1/2 "GUESS WHO'S COMIN' TO THE CRIB?" Full Force. Columbia. Best known as the composers/producers behind the giant crossover success of Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam, Full Force is a forceful funk entity in its own right. Lisa Lisa makes an appearance on this album's best track, "Take Care of Homework," a hard-rocking exercise that borrows a melodic line from "Rock Creek Park," a modest '70s black hit by the Blackbyrds. Full Force isn't bashful about swiping entire lines and licks from past R&B hits by artists ranging from the Spinners and James Brown to Earth, Wind & Fire. Call it plagiarism or just call it a prideful acknowledgement of soul music's roots--a theme they touch upon in "Black Radio." There's a lot of anger in that song, as there is in blistering man-to-woman tirades like "All in My Mind," "Katty Women" and "Low Blow Brenda." This isn't the group's best album--their 1985 debut, "Full Force," still holds that distinction--but it should satisfy the group's converted fans.

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