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Infinity Within

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Suppose your neighbor’s kid shows up at your door one Halloween wearing the cutest bunny costume. Then, a year later, he shows up again, still cute, but without the bunny suit, because now he’s raising money to save the rain forest. That, sort of, is what Deee-Lite’s second album is like. Their first, the adorable World Clique, was one of the major musical happenings of 1990, full of irresistibly ear-catching scraps that barely dodged each other while executing the aural equivalent of intricate, independent dance steps. Infinity Within regenerates that mad braininess, along with other World Clique singularities, among them horn parts funkily blown by Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker (former James Brown sidemen) and eager paeans to universal love. The group’s social concerns, though, have congealed into political rants whose mundane specificity — ”Always pick every piece of litter up/Recycle cans, paper, and plastic” — all but unhorses the wild verve of the music. So c’mon, Deee-Lite. What makes your stuff go are wonders like the arresting, double-thick bass line of ”Fuddy Duddy Judge,” and the self-possessed restlessness of songs about sex ‘n’ romance like ”I Won’t Give Up.” Your politics worked better two years ago when you made the words vague, and let your music tell the story. B