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Take 6: Brothers

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Continuing in the instrumentally-supported pop/R&B vein of their previous release Join the Band, Take 6 offers on Brothers (Reprise 9 46235-2; 42:46) a joyful mix of funky (yet happily restrained) soul grooves and misty-eyed spirituality supported by their hallmark overtone-laden walls of vocal harmony. The best instrumental complements to the group’s vocals continue to be pumping, bubbly arrangements like a bright version of Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Sing a Song,” backed by just the right horn punch. Some of the ballads here (“I’ll Be There,” “Jesus Makes Me Happy”) tend towards over-synthed, drippier arrangements, taking away from the guys’ sterling singing. Though Christian messages are threaded throughout Brothers, most tracks, like the mystical and reverent “Don’t Let Go,” present universally adaptable feel-good messages. Only occasionally does the writing take itself a bit too seriously-Brian McKnight gives an impossibly straight read to the groove-laden “Delilah,” a track with the hilarious catch line “she’s after your hair/you better beware.” The occasional laid-back approach would even things out nicely for this always likeable group.