Picks and Pans Review: From the Hip
The Texas-born Cotton, granddaughter of oil magnate Clinton W. Josey, garnered attention with her 1982 debut album, Convertible Music, owing mainly to a ditty entitled "Johnny, Are You Queer?" which became a radio-cult hit. In the intervening years Josie has changed hairstyles, from '50s beehive to a spiky-hair Vampirella look; unfortunately her music has remained pretty much the same. The songs on From the Hip, several written by Cotton or her producers and arrangers, Bobby and Larson Paine, are spare and unimaginative and do little to soften the shrill edge of Josie's upper register. The lyrics, as in Cotton's No Use Crying, are simple-minded: "When you're on the rebound/ You're coming back again/ Well, just where you're headed/ It depends where you been." Most of the album is dominated by keyboardist Johnny B. Frank, on what sounds like a '60s-style portable organ. Cotton stretches herself as a singer only on Come With Me, an atypical ballad and the most satisfying song on the album. The rest of the tracks are cloying, from the Toni Basil School of Perky Punk, and sound as if they were recorded by a garage band. It's all right to shoot from the hip, but it would be better to aim a little higher.