Picks and Pans Review: Seven the Hard Way

updated 01/06/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/06/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

Pat Benatar

"If anyone doubted that we would kick ass after I became a mother," Benatar has said about this album, "think again." Benatar indeed seems to be making a preemptive strike against any suggestion that the birth of her daughter, Haley, last February turned her into a softy who switched from spandex and denim to flannel. Her previous album, Tropico, indicated that she was willing to take some musical chances by scaling down the ferocity of her style. But she has come rampaging back with a harsh, ultracynical set of songs. With such titles as Sex as a Weapon, Seven Rooms of Gloom and Walking in the Underground, it's clear this is no rose garden and the songs' frenetic pace exacerbates the mood. When she's really belting and over-dubbing herself on top of it, Benatar can sound like the Andrews Sisters being electrocuted. When her voice breaks through the din, though, as it does at times on the thoughtful Le Bel Age or on Invincible, it's a reminder that Benatar can do something other than blast. Having established her tough-cookie credentials many times over, she could afford to soften up a little more frequently. (Chrysalis)

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