Picks and Pans Review: Mary Jane Girls

updated 06/20/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/20/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Mary Jane Girls

This female quartet, the creation of punk-funkster Rick James, has all the artistic integrity of the Village People. James has taken four semitalented performers, dolled them up in girlish Halloween outfits, and given them a coy, druggy group designation and some unlikely names: Candi, Cheri, JoJo and Maxi. The music they perform on this debut LP is typically Jamesian, with a "Party Side" of such mindless cuts as Boys, Candy Man, Jealousy and Prove It. The latter has what must be a favorite for the Worst Lyrical Couplet of the Year Award. "If you really want me in your lap/You've got to give me some money, sap." The "Cool Out Side" showcases the considerable vocal gifts of 24-year-old JoJo (Joanne McDuffie), part of James' own group for the past two years. Still, the obvious pandering of this project shows more than anything else that Rick James is a disciple of P.T. Barnum. Caveat emptor.

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