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Bugz In The Attic - Back In The Doghouse
As arguably the biggest stars in broken beat/nujazz, expectations are high for Back In The Doghouse, the first proper album from the collective known as Bugz In The Attic.  A nine member behemoth that includes  Daz I Kue, Mark Force, Kaidi Tatham, Seiji, Orin Walters and others, all of whom have had success on their own, the Bugz managed an unlikely top 40 hit in 2004 with "Booty La La," which only increased the pressure to deliver the goods on Doghouse.

As in other cases when a signature artist is handed the responsibility of breaking a new style into the mainstream, Back In The Doghouse has several moments that smack of compromise in the hope of attracting crossover audiences. These occur primarily in the opening section of the album, as "Move Aside," while slamming, has obvious references to Amerie's "1 Thing," and "No More" comes off as slightly watered down. These must be the songs that replaced the more adventurous material the group was quoted as saying they were advised not to put on the album. 

Fortunately, after that rough beginning, Back In The Doghouse brims with the excitement and innovation their fans have come to expect. "Consequences" is a brilliant tribute to 80s boogie soul, with a great vocal performance from the ever-impressive Bembe Segue, who appears on five cuts. Also sure to bring smiles and pack dancefloors is "Happy Days" featuring Yolande, an uplifting broken funk masterpiece. 

A stroke of genius resides in the inspired remake of "Don't Stop The Music," the funk classic originally by Yarborough & Peoples and handled with aplomb by Sharlene Hector. Other songs are voiced by some of the scene's biggest names, including Don Ricardo, Vanessa Freeman and Michelle Escoffrey. 

The previously heard (thanks to DJs) singles "Once Twice," "Sounds Like" and of course "Booty La La" round out a genre-defining album from a group whose sum is greater than its parts.    

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