Amy Linden
July 26, 1991 AT 04:00 AM EDT


Current Status
In Season
Motown Records

We gave it a B-

Don’t look now, but here comes another group from Philly with the dexterity to reproduce a virtual catalog of contemporary black-pop grooves. Managed by Michael Bivins of Bell Biv DeVoe, the quartet copies BBD’s cooled-out rhythms on the catchy-but-uninspired ”Motown Philly,” their current hit single, and on other songs borrows unashamedly from popular a cappella doo-wop groups. Yes, Boyz II Men can sing. Their vocal gymnastics and show-offy trills create some fun party music on Cooleyhighharmony, but the ballads by this highly unoriginal young group blend into one giant ”Please, girl.” Reversing the usual sequence, the album starts with slow jams and saves the faster jams for last, which only serves to highlight how routine the slow stuff is. Don’t they know that you start the party kickin’, then get down to the grinding? B-

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