In 1996 U.T.F.O. released the follow up to their self-titled debut album on Select Records. Once again mostly produced by the R&B band Full Force (The Real Roxanne’s DJ Howie Tee co-writes a few songs here), it’s another short album, just 8 songs (pretty average for albums at the time). The biggest difference here is that the group was a man short, as The Educated Rapper was absent from this album (although he would return to the group for all subsequent albums), so it was just The Kangol Kid and Doctor Ice doing the rapping, with Mix Master Ice continuing as D.J.
This is my favorite song on the album, with a catchy beat. First Doctor Ice raps about trying to attract a girl but then running afoul of her violent boyfriend, and then Kangol Kid raps about a kid he knew who turned to a life of crime, getting worse and worse until he ended up in jail.
2/WHERE DID YOU GO?
This song is a mix of singing and rapping. A smooth uptempo R&B song, with Kangol singing lead in the verses and then he and Doctor Ice trade raps in the middle. It’s a very good track and showcases Kangol Kid’s underrated singing ability. I’m surprised that he never released a full solo album as a singer.
3/WE WORK HARD
A powerful and funky beat is in the background while Kangol and Doc boast about their lyrical skills.
4/KANGOL & DOC
The guys trade braggadocio raps again, along with some singing in the middle. This song also heavily features Mix Master Ice’s scratching abilities.
5/THE HOUSE WILL ROCK
This is clearly a dance song, with a club-beat that would be perfect for break-dancers. Full Force backs up the group, singing the chorus, very effectively.
This was the big hit single from this album, brilliantly showcases the group’s creativity.
7/PICK UP THE PACE
The Educated Rapper does appear on this one song, which was recorded before the rest of this album. It was featured in the 1985 hit film Krush Groove, although it wasn’t on the soundtrack. This has a nice classic “old school” beat to it, as the guys rap and praise their D.J. In the middle of the song they slow the beat down to a reggae sound, while Doctor Ice raps in a Jamaican accent, and it’s surprisingly effective.
8/BAD LUCK BARRY
Kangol and Doc rap about a guy they know who always has bad luck. Once again the rappers’ creative is evident in these humorous notes.
Despite not reaching the pop-culture iconic stature of the big hit Roxanne Roxanne, and missing one member, I actually think that this album is better than the first. Kangol and Doc’s lyrical content is more creative and Full Force’s music and production is top-notch. Chacebook rating: FIVE STARS
Unfortunately, this album isn’t available digitally (although Split Personality and Pick Up The Pace can be found on their greatest hit album on iTunes) but it can CD and vinyl copies are still AVAILABLE ON AMAZON
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