ABOUT HALF of the Whispers new album "More of the Night" suggests that even old kids on the block can learn a new trick, but it's still the swooning, crooning tunes, not the feverish dance tracks, that are most apt to win over longtime fans.
Since 1980, the vocal quintet has divided its recordings between dancin' cuts and romancin' cuts, and "More of the Night" offers more of the same. Part of the album is all about the street and the beat, with the infectious "Innocent," the hip-hop heavy "Misunderstanding," the rap-punctuated "Babes" and the topical "Help Them See the Light" leading the way. For a group as long in the tooth as this one -- it celebrated its 25th anniversary last year -- the results sound far more contemporary than contrived.
Still, romancin' is what the Whispers and lead singers Walter and Wallace Scott do best. The remaining tunes are full of the Scott brothers' satiny harmonies, and while the title track, "Is It Good to You" and other lush ballads offer little more than the usual assortment of romantic platitudes, they're clearly the heart and soul of the Whispers' sound.
THE WHISPERS --
"More of the Night" (Capitol). Appearing Sunday at DAR Constitution Hall.