Think way back. Okay, well not way back, but just before New York’s Hot 103 morphed into Hot 97 and long before K7’s “Come Baby Come.” TKA (the dance/pop trio of which K7 was a part) helped bring the rhythms of the Freestyle dance movement from the barrio to the ’80s pop mainstream. A decade after their last studio release, the group has reformed for Forever, an album that celebrates their musical roots and embraces the sound that they helped spring forth in the post-Alternative pop world. Sure, Forever may be diluted retro-funk a la Jamiroquai, and the disc’s first single, “Feel the Music,” is far from dynamic, but who can resist the shameless la-la-la’s of the organ-infused “Move (Ain’t No Stoppin Us)” or the bass-sultry “Better Than the Rest?” Acoustic-based tracks like the potential crossover hit “U Don’t Feel It” and the more subdued “One Day U” are reminders that the recent Latin-pop “explosion” in fact began years ago with the likes of TKA, Gloria Estefan and George Lamond. Forever’s ballads are surprisingly restrained (from the simply old-fashioned “Love Conquers All” to the silky “Say the Word” featuring Nelson Gonzalez on guitar), but the always sex-starved K7’s deep bass is a bit over-the-top on “In a Manner” and the orgasmic “In & Out.” Libidos aside, though, Forever proves that the TKA comeback could be more than just a trip down Memory Lane.
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