Picks and Pans Review: Inside Story

updated 01/12/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/12/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

Grace Jones

Very little about Ms. Jones, from her robofunk singing style to her slit-eyed, android look, maintains much contact with reality. Even the "biography" distributed with this album makes no pretense of being anything other than a sham: "Grace Jones was born in a log cabin in Hannibal, Mo. in 1963 to a family of poor Russian immigrants. A precocious child, at the age of 6 she built a raft and floated down the Mississippi to Memphis, where her raft was discovered in the reeds by Pharaoh Sanders, the famous jazz musician, who adopted her and took her to New Orleans." Jones herself often is funnier than that, but she spends so much time sending herself up, she doesn't ever really do anything else. The soulfully stylish Nile Rodgers co-produced this album with Jones, and he provides her with nicely funked-up, synthesizer-heavy backgrounds, in front of which she drones like a vaguely tuneful microwave oven. The hit single I'm Not Perfect (But I'm Perfect for You) has little to offer apart from its cleverly turned title, and the album's other songs similarly sound intriguing only until you hear them: Chan Hitchhikes to Shanghai; Victor Should Have Been a Jazz Musician. This is the product of a personality, not a singer. Say good night, Gracie. (Manhattan)

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