Featwing Chaka Kalm (ABC) 11' you've over found yourself switching lanes invaluntarily while drivinp, unable to resist the funky imperative blasting l'rom the radio, you probably had ome Rufus jam comin' from the box. "Teil Me Something Good" or "You Got the Love" are enough to drive anyone to near distraction. Unfortunately, a good chunk of Rufus' new offering is a little on the safe side. Rufus, Featuring Chaka Khan is a 50-50 mixture: half is relentless, no-holds-barred disco. upbeat ballads tliat just aren't worth the troublè7Blg The former is what Rufus does best and what keeps people buyine up their singles. They've got i personalizad formula out of the James Brown-Sly Stone mold and it's nard to si! slill when it happens. Praise be to Chaka Khan's vocals. She can't disguise her soulfulness no matter what the setting. When it'sust her and the rhythm section as on "Dance Wit Me" or "Have a Good Time," her exuberante knows no limits. Nor does the guitar playing of Tony Maiden. Listen in on "Sweel Thing," their current single, for a potent demonstration. Rather than letting well enough alone, someone asked a string and hom section in, set a synthesizer loose and decided to do some laid back, "meaningful" ballads. And although Chaka does her best to squeeze some feeling out of these songs, they just don't have it, melodically or otherwise. It takes Aretha to make you reaüy listen to a Bacharach tune, but these songs aren't even that good. The result is "derufusized" Rufus 01 that cold and slippery creature known as the "L.A. Sound," replete with the glittering emptiness that is Hollywood. Rufus can be exciting, though. You better have some high-heeled sneakers handy lor some of these tunes. They mean whatthey do and but for their producers, Tve got a feeling they'd do it even netter.