CD Review: Kava Kava — Forwards

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Midnight Swimming

By Al Kaufman

Michael Hutchence has been gone for almost 12 years now, but his ability to intertwine pop with club has never been duplicated. While Hutchence leaned more toward his pop tendencies, Kava Kava, a six-piece Britpop band making its US debut, tend to start in the club/electronica camp and sprinkle in just enough pop to make themselves accessible.

Lead singer Pat Fulgoni oozes that same simmering sexuality that Hutchence so easily conveyed. When he says he wants "Clarity" it feels personal and sincere, even with all the thumping going on in the background. "Don't Stop the Music," with its disco beats, is pure party boy. But when it comes right down to it, Fulgoni could sing the directions on a Preparation H package and it would sound like a come on.

For a CD that sounds like all remixes, it does not seem necessary to make the last two tracks remixes of earlier songs, but that's really just quibbling. Kava Kava are not afraid to mix psychedelic funk with electronica, pop, and a good dose of erotica. Occasionally, as on "NFA," the results do not work, but Forwards has a lot more hits than misses. As the title suggests, this is certainly a band that is going in the right direction.

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