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RICHARD MAZDA (Buy CDs by this artist)
Hands of Fate (IRS) 1983

The producer of many cool people's records (e.g., the Fleshtones, Fall, Wall of Voodoo, Tom Robinson), Mazda's own music consists of slick soul-funk that bears more than a passing resemblance to ABC's first album. ("Big Sound" all but quotes the lyrics of "Look of Love.") Guest appearances by many of his studio charges get lost in the smooth, bass-popping sound; Mazda may be a multifarious musician (mostly keyboards and guitar) and an ace producer, but he's not much of a singer or songwriter. A flawless exercise in search of a talent to focus it on.

[Ira Robbins]