February 06, 1989 12:00 PM

Robbie Nevil

Nevil sprang to attention two years ago with the hit C’est la Vie. His moony, wistful persona in the video version of that song made it seem as if he had been shanghaied into its deep groove. He looked as if he’d be happier at home polishing silverware. Now that reluctant dance master is back with another collection of suave pseudo soul. The richest R & B flavor comes on the rhythmic Holding On, the gliding midtempo ballad Getting Better and Back on Holiday, to which Lenny Pickett adds a squishy, plastic-sounding sax riff. On such songs as Somebody Like You, Nevil also reveals some respectable guitar chops. His vocal delivery is reminiscent of Kenny Log-gins, but his song style and production values are more in line with George Michael’s. While both Michael and Nevil pour abundant savvy and talent into their music, the heart is missing. Listening to them is like being with a lover who takes time out during exquisite moments to check her nails. (EMI Manhattan)

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