Picks and Pans Review: Spanish Fly

updated 05/11/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/11/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam

Lisa Velez is not exactly Diana Ross, and Cult Jammers Mike Hughes and Alex Mosely are certainly not Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard. Imagine the Supremes updated to the '80s; that's not a bad parallel for this trio at its better moments. The hit single off this album, Head to Toe, is strikingly reminiscent of the Supremes' Back in My Arms Again, and Lost in Emotion has a throwback tinge too. While Lisa doesn't have Ross's sense of style—not many people do—she does have a rich, versatile sound and the vocal strength to penetrate the album's percussion-heavy arrangements. It might be interesting to hear Lisa and Cult Jam in a more subdued setting sometime. For now the question is, why use as an album title something that has such ugly connotations, especially when there's no reference to it in any of the songs? Aphrodisiac would have gotten the point across with a lot more grace. (CBS)

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