Picks and Pans Review: Different Light

updated 02/10/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/10/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

The Bangles

The opening track. Manic Monday, which also has been released as a single and video, was written for this all-female group by Prince (who is billed here as "Christopher"). You may well wonder what in the world he has against the Bangles after hearing this dithering drivel. A little later, after the Bangles have wantonly massacred Jules Shear's if She Knew What She Wants, it becomes obvious that the fault lies with the band, not the material. An L.A. quartet whose first record, All Over the Place, was widely acclaimed in 1984, the four women really flounder in their follow-up. You can hear flashes of the carefully wrought harmonies that invited comparisons to the Mamas and the Papas, but, with the exception of Walking Down Your Street, none of the pop savvy that their debut promised makes itself evident on this LP. As far as the Bangles' lauded "guitar-based" sound, Different Light should make it obvious that their lead guitarist, Vicki Peterson, couldn't even handle Jeff Beck's tuning fork. Producer David Kahne has allowed the group's tendency to pomposity to run away with the album too. The Bangles have neither the talent nor the density of expression to get away with a very weighty approach. More lighthearted attitudes and arrangements would have helped this album tremendously. (CBS)

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