Groove Armada | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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There's nothing you haven't heard before on Lovebox (Jive Electro), the fourth album by London duo Andy Cato and Tom Findlay, aka Groove Armada. With their humongous beats, piano-led ballads, bruising bass lines, and hemmed-in squiggles, Cato and Findlay seem less interested in reinventing the wheel than in working within a tradition. The title track, which features an airy keyboard hook, surging bottom end, and stammering vocal ah-ahs, might hardly have been noticed during rave's early-to-mid-90s heyday, but it's a ready-made classic regardless, typifying the genre so thrillingly it transcends it. Lovebox is the duo's most accomplished album so far, and crucially, it's also their funkiest, though often self-consciously so. But they make up for that with their sudden flair for grinding guitar-bass grooves such as "Madder" and the nasty-plus "Groove Is On," the latter of which balances out a middling rap by Kriminul with a sensual vocal by Neneh Cherry. Saturday, April 19, 10 PM, Park West, 322 W. Armitage; 773-929-5959 or 312-559-1212.

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