Euge_groove-euge_groove_span3
September 2000

Euge Groove
Euge Groove
Warner Brothers

Euge Groove is the mispronounced alter ego of saxophonist Steven Eugene Grove, a longtime pop-R&B sideman who has already won a substantial fan base following via MP3 Internet downloads. Despite the winkingly egotistical moniker, Mr. Groove shows us nothing particularly out-of-the-ordinary on his eponymously titled release (Warner Bros. 947655-2; 47:46), a mostly lightweight collection of cliched smooth-jazz arrangements that don't do justice to his talents. The potential is there: Groove shows a light touch in the mode of Richard Eliot and other stars, but with more attitude and spirit-lean and mean on the retro-soul "Vinyl," and baring vibrant, gnashing tenor chops on the intro to "Truly Emotional." With the exception of "The Last Song," which rises from gospel-toned to uplifting pop-cinematic, providing a perfect showcase for Groove's emotive tenor, the arrangements let him down at every turn-offering limp mid-clip percussion programs, and thin, washy keyboards. Gum-snapping teens seeking out the boudoir pop of "Give in to Me" (with guest vocals by N'Sync) may be the unlikely target audience here, but in the right setting, Mr. Groove could indeed one day be "Euge."

Originally published in September 2000
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