America is the melting pot, where diversity meets and mingles. Where else would a group such as Pablo Cruise be possible? Thier vocal blend is standard lanolated white-soul harmonizing behind an anonymous Everyman of a lead singer, sincere but restrained. This band's chordal backdrop strives for the tightness and expansiveness of the Doobie Brothers, out of Steely Dan. The rhythm section sounds like down South, but one is never sure how far down: There's the whiplash Allman Brothers groove, the textbook Mussel Shoals playing - plus a touch of mariachi boogie. Here and there appear fragments of Foreigner's ballooning heaviness, Supertramp's fairygodmother morality, Pink Floyd's synthetics and so forth. You can play spot-the-influences as well as I.

Pablo Cruise comes from the melting pot's very core, California, which created none of the above sounds but sure can market them. The trouble with this universality is that all they're melted together and homogenized. In other words, there's undoubtedly a myriad of Pablo Cruises within the California state lines. Unsurprisingly, this particular Pablo Cruise sings a lot about escape: "Sailing to Paradise," "I Go to Rio," "Runnin'." If they can't take it, there's no reason you should - so let "Worlds Away" escape you PABLO CRUISE: WORLDS AWAY - A&M 4697.