Picks and Pans Review: Wild Animal

UPDATED 09/24/1984 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 09/24/1984 at 01:00 AM EDT

Vanity

There are a few seconds' worth of lyrics on this album that aren't sexually explicit; they're only double entendres. But there is undoubtedly something musical going on—in addition to Vanity's singing invitation to somebody to glide down her highway, the sounds of whips, the coos, the gurgles and the discussion of King Kong's prowess. Vanity was Denise Matthews before she hooked up with Prince as leader of his female backup group. (She and Prince have split up, both personally and professionally.) She has a coquettish, teasing voice ideally suited to making brazen overtures, but she also has a sense of musical dynamics. She wrote all these songs, apparently with some help from her hormones, and co-produced the album with Bill Wolfer, who has also worked with Shalamar. He handles all the background instruments too, setting up compelling rhythmic situations. Vanity could, it seems clear, do a lot more with them than turn out the adolescent kind of titillation she's trying to sell on this album. (Motown)

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