Picks and Pans Review: Sleep It Off

updated 02/27/1984 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/27/1984 01:00AM

Cristina

One thing has to be said about the New York City-born Cristina Monet: She has a sense of humor. Otherwise she would hardly have been able to record the Brecht-Weill song Ballad of Immoral Earnings, Van Morrison's Blue Money, Sonny Throckmorton's She Can't Say That Anymore and her own (and Don Was') Don't Mutilate My Mink all on this, her second album. Since her singing voice is a cross between Debbie Harry on a bad day and a noisy microwave oven, she needs all the humor she can summon, too. She does a lot of vocal posturing—talk-singing, more often than not. Her dry approach has some appeal, though, and her lyrics are enjoyably cynical: "Lorraine wanted money/Thought it was funny/Jamie typing out his heart/And starving for his art/Now he works for a bank/But she's not here to thank/She's with a polo player in the Argentine." Her backup group makes up for some of the musicality she lacks. It includes Marianne Faithfull alumni Barry Reynolds and Ben Brierley, the Knack's Doug Feiger and David and Don Was (better known as Was/Not Was). They're all restrained. Cristina, 25, is married to Ze Records head Michael Zilkha and gave birth to a daughter on Christmas Day, which might lighten the dim view of the universe she espouses on this LP. Even if it doesn't, she says, "They don't say of Chekhov, 'God, he's a lousy playwright because his vision is so depressing—why doesn't he cheer up a bit?' " (Mercury)

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