Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Soul II Soul

  • Keep On Movin' [Virgin, 1989] B+
  • Vol II--1990: A New Decade [Virgin, 1990] A-
  • Volume III Just Right [Virgin, 1992] Dud

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Keep On Movin' [Virgin, 1989]
The vapidity of "A happy face, a thumping bass, for a loving race" wouldn't bother anybody if these Londoners didn't take dread in vain--with hair like that you're supposed to be more, you know, cultural. But for a disco band, they're quite all right, really--very tuneful, with a nice loping groove and vocals out of Chic and Eddy Grant. And though I wish they liked saxophones, the flute is them. B+

Vol II--1990: A New Decade [Virgin, 1990]
Jazzie B. is the victim of his own pretensions, and his fickle fans are victims of theirs--anybody so groovy as to mistake a kitschy little dance band from London U.K. for the next phase of world culture is sure to suffer mightily when the truth gets out. But as someone whose chakras weren't realigned by the house album that ate top 40, I must insist--not only is the emperor still wearing clothes, the new ones fit better. You won't find a "Keep On Movin'" here--that honor falls to Snap this year. But the lead cuts are daring and irresistible in their kitschy way, and the boring stretches are all but eliminated--even Fab Five Freddy and Courtney Pine gain the flat-out pop credibility that is Jazzie's true calling. A-

Volume III Just Right [Virgin, 1992] Dud