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HUEY LEWIS & THE NEWS

Live at 25

Between his suave George Clooney looks and hook-heavy bar-band brand of rock and soul, Huey Lewis has always been too square to be hip. That hasn't stopped him from selling millions of albums to the Dockers and Izod crowd that laps up this music faster than a sugary cocktail on a muggy summer night.

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But to his credit, Lewis plays to his peeps, churning out a frisky, easygoing set that hasn't lost the unpretentious charm it had a quarter-decade ago. Listening to this live album, or watching the accompanying DVD, it seems strange that this clean-cut, inoffensive party pop was ever massively popular.

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Lewis' appeal was that he never followed a trend other than his own white-bread approach to black R&B, and his knack for writing snappy, brassy "Heart of Rock & Roll" melodies that can still be sung along to at ball games and boomer-friendly receptions.

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Adding a three-piece horn section to these energetic, if not terribly innovative, reworkings of hits, oldies and a few surprisingly tough recent tunes still doesn't make him as cool as say, Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes, an outfit that plowed similar territory with more substantial results. But it does goose these hip-swaying nuggets with enough juice to make for a pretty terrific set that seldom succumbs to its wedding-band roots.

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Huey Lewis & the News play Chastain Park Amphitheatre Wed., Aug. 24. 7:30 p.m. $21.36-$51.08. 4469 Stella Drive. 404-733-5000. www.classicchastain.org.