October 07, 1985 12:00 PM

The Dazz Band

Even though they’ve had their share of hits—Shake It Up and Let the Music Play, to name a couple—the members of this soul-funk group haven’t managed to establish a cult of personality. Hot Spot, a typically proficient album, is more sharply tailored, due to the fine synthesizer programming contributed by white soulster Jeff Lorber. That still leaves the Dazz Band wanting the kind of strong frontman who creates real audience identification. Five of the nine members are credited with lead vocals, and that no-name gang gets the job done on such sunny funk tunes as if Only You Were in My Shoes and She Used To Be My Girl. The addition of Marlon McLain, who replaces Eric Fearman on guitar, adds some bite to the mix, especially on the title track. But the overall impression is a tad too contained and polite. Soul music should not be a pinkies-out tea party. Like most of the Dazz Band’s albums, Hot Spot will move you a little, but it won’t shake you. (Motown)

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