Tom Tom Club The Good The Bad and the Funky

Please make it stop. This is painful listening for a former fan. Why Tom Tom'ers and former Talking Heads Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth have chosen to resurrect the Club after eight years of other projects is beyond me. It certainly isn't because their sound is of-the-moment or cutting edge - very much the case when they formed in the early '80s. After years of producing others, the duo and their new-formed band come across as accomplished, slick, boring studio musicians. They may speak of turning new generations onto their sound, but endless chants of "keeping it real" and "it's all good" just don't cut it. Weymouth's sing-song-y, little girl voice and playground lyrics were once a breath of fun, fresh air; today, on tracks such as the Boney M-esque "Time to Bounce," they're out-of-sync and downright embarrassing. Shouts to the DJ, dated beats and shouts of "'nuff respect" are coupled with lines such as "Make my day, don't be passé" on the super-polished, Garbage-emulating "Happiness Can't Buy Money." Weymouth then does an out-and-out Shirley Manson impersonation on the stagnant "She's A Freak." Add to this the disturbing reggae-light cover of Lee Perry's "Soul Fire" and the sexless, sterile take on Giorgio Moroder and Donna Summer's super-sensual classic "Love to Love You," and you truly have grounds for dismissal. To be fair, it must be said that a few tracks are decent and would push at the boundaries of adult-pop radio, where today's Tom Tom Club could actually fare well. "Surrender" and "Holy Water" both benefit from the Motown-ish vocals of soul crooner Charles Pettigrew, the latter track also featuring Bernie Worrell getting down on his organ, and reminding of Hall & Oates in their '70s blue-eyed soul heyday. (Rykopalm)