Look How Long

With their down-tempo beats, their catchy slow-shuffling melodies, their resonant vocals, and their messages of personal uplift, Loose Ends could be this year’s big British dance sensation. But they’re not just the Soul II Soul of 1991; they’re using a full band to add airy jazz flourishes mixed with ’90s new jack swing to take dance music in a new direction. Led by singer-songwriter-instrumentalist-producer Carl McIntosh, Loose Ends was the first British soul act to cross over to the United States back in the early ’80s, paving the way for such hit acts as Imagination, Sade, and Lisa Stansfield. Now, with their first album in three years, Look How Long, and a new lineup including an impressive singer named Linda carriere, Loose Ends is back with a vengeance. The most outstanding track is ”Love’s Got Me,” which builds soaring harmonies over a deep funk groove. All in all, the album is full of surprises — husky Barry White-like narration, live drumming, saxophone and clarinet solos, jangling bass lines, layers of echoing vocals. Other highlights are ”Don’t Be a Fool,” the LP’s first Top 10 single, and the funky ”Cheap Talk,” which is reminiscent of Marvin Gaye’s ”Sexual Healing.” As the group’s jazz-funk influence swings its way into ’90s dance music, you’ll be hearing a lot from Loose Ends. A-

Look How Long
  • Music