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New Edition: Candy Girl (Streetwise SWRL 3301)

Mitchell Cohen, High Fidelity, October 1983

NEW EDITION'S hit 'Candy Girl' is an uncanny re-creation of the early Jackson 5's pop-soul effervescence, down to the last vocal inflection. But it's not the kind of record one would consider as the basis for an entire album. Who would want to hear 10 songs by a new group of kids in the exact style of another group of kids? Surprisingly, the album named after New Edition's No. 1 R&B single goes beyond novelty appeal. There are a few other cuts on which 14-year-old Ralph Tresvant has been coached to duplicate the range and phrasing of Michael Jackson at age 11, and which have been constructed as J5 soundalikes ('Is This the End' is very similar melodically to 'I'll Be There'), but Candy Girl has a zippiness of its own.

Total word count of piece: 554

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