November 18, 1996 12:00 PM

Luscious Jackson

This New York City all-female funk combo, named after former Philadelphia ’76er basketball player Lucious Jackson, delivered buoyant, hip-hop-inflected dance music with their first full-length album, 1994’s Natural Ingredients. Unfortunately the group seems to have lost some of its bounce. Things get off to a typically thumpy groove with the CD’s fizzy single “Naked Eye” but then shifts into a plodding, albeit soulful, tempo that spoils the party. It’s unclear why a band whose witty, hard-edged sound has been compared to the Beastie Boys’ would pull their syncopated punches and ease into a rhythm-and-blues vibe at times more suited to the likes of Sade or Earth, Wind & Fire. Songs such as “Mood Swing” and “Take a Ride” are slow, edgeless departures from the funky formula that made them so entertaining in the past. As the title implies, Fever In Fever Out has no heat by the time it’s over. (Grand Royal/Capitol)

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