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March 2001

Chieli Minucci
Sweet on You
Shanachie

For his fourth solo project, Special EFX cofounder Chieli Minucci offers more of his reliable trademarks: sweet-toned, melodic and fluid guitar playing marked by splashes of classical and Latin colors. Unfortunately, Sweet on You is also filled with more of the slapping, dull percussion programs and endless keyboard layers that have diminished past records. The album is not without its moments, however-the hip-bop-rhythms-and-fusion jam "Hot 100" is a prickly, funky treat, and the energetic "Breaking Away" is pumped by a pop-orchestral cinematic feel and Jay Rowe's driving piano. The album's most original track, "Little Squirt," finds hard-bopping horns meeting Minucci's guitar at the corners, for a minimalist-cool, truly funky feel. Though these gems are buried among less compelling works, like the washy synth of the album's title track, they provide fertile ground for the future of a fine player.

Originally published in March 2001
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