Bill Wyman
February 01, 1991 AT 05:00 AM EST


Current Status
In Season
Antler, Caroline, Subway

We gave it a B

This is the Ambitious Lovers’ third excursion into the seven deadly sins, following cheerfully in the wake of their previous albums, Envy and Greed. The band comprises Peter Scherer, who handles keyboards, programming, and production, and Arto Lindsay, a longtime New York art nerd whose wheedling guitar stylings and off-kilter personality generally have enlivened such avant aggregations as DNA, the Lounge Lizards, and the Golden Palominos. After seven years and three albums, the Ambitious Lovers has to be considered the friendliest and most promising of all these groups. Lindsay and Scherer have steadily thrown off many of the seven deadly sins of New York art rock — obfuscation, noisemeistering and pretentiousness prominent among them. Lust continues their move toward a smooth dance pop for adults that is still very strange but oddly alluring — sonically, at least. It doesn’t always work, but for every song like ”Tuck It In,” which sounds too much like white boys trying too hard to be funky, there’s a deeply pleasurable grinder like ”Half Out of It.” Odd squawks, squeals, and clanks rise to the surface occasionally, with just enough stop-and-start rhythms and unorthodox song structures to keep the avant-gardists interested. All that’s missing is some grit — the overall feel is that of sardonic funksters Was (Not Was) without the edge. Standout: ”É Preciso Perdoar,” a calm and unadorned ballad (Lindsay grew up in Brazil and contributes one song in Portuguese to each album). Nice. B

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