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Hue & Cry: Next Move

The Next Move (Linn AKD 102; 51:53) means a step further away from their pop base for British brothers Pat and Greg Kane, known as Hue & Cry. Where its previous release, Jazz Not Jazz, was somewhat transitional, incorporating jazzier elements, Next Move dives expertly into sharp, impressive timing pieces (“Speed o’ Lite”), and rowdy, big-horn swing outs (an excellent cover of Prince’s “Sign o’ the Times”). On the album’s title track, the guys proclaim, “gotta be more than the same old thing”-an apt description of the product, filled with brisk, bright drums and whirling keyboards for a retro celebratory tone. Also different than the same old thing is the organic, knuckle-drum-based fusion of “She Moves Through the Wires.” A bracing vocal croons the intriguingly foreboding lyric, “she’s danger and beauty together.” The baritone croon-recalling Peter Cox of ’80s pop duo Go West-also works nicely on graceful ballads like Harry Connick Jr.’s “Sonny Cried,” and soulful struts like “I Didn’t Know.” The ingredients are in place; all that’s missing now is a magic, memorable melody to bring Hue & Cry a major hit, and a well-deserved new audience.

Originally Published