David Thigpen
March 18, 1994 AT 05:00 AM EST

When he was running with the Stray Cats, Setzer made retro music hip again by laying down fresh roots-rock grooves against guitar licks as dapper as a fin-tailed Cadillac on Saturday night. Backed by a 17-piece orchestra, Setzer now aims for a polished 1930s big-band sound, but keeps straying back into weed-grown ’50s nostalgia, like ”Route 66.” The new band can stop on a dime, but with none of the Cats’ junkyard sass, The Brian Setzer Orchestra sounds like nothing more than a really good sock-hop band. B

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