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POP MUSIC REVIEW : Pleasing Everyone, That's the Ticket for Roger Clinton, Too

March 23, 1995|STEVE HOCHMAN

Roger Clinton never mentioned his big brother Bill during his show at the House of Blues on Tuesday. But the baby-faced singer wasn't above a few allusions, including naming his five-man band Politics and performing a somewhat clunky funk-rap number, also called "Politics" ("P is for the people, O is for opinion, L is for the lies . . . ").

For the most part, though, the vibe was a lot closer to "Animal House" than the White House, as the First Little Bro rallied a small crowd with a set built largely around party faves ("Feelin' Alright," "Come Together") and lounge-blues standards ("God Bless the Child"). While no one would mistake Clinton's mix of '70s-based funk and pop for George Clinton, what he lacks in natural gifts (his voice is pleasant, but a little thin, especially for soul songs), he makes up for with heart.

What was missing was any sense of an artistic agenda other than a desire to entertain. Like the President, Clinton--whose bread-and-butter musical gig is warming up sitcom studio audiences--seems driven by a need to please everyone. Accordingly, his first real L.A. concert since the September release of his album, "Nothing Good Comes Easy," had something for all tastes. But then, that Clintonian trait might prove better suited to music than to politics.

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