Picks and Pans Review: Wendy & Lisa

updated 10/12/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/12/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Wendy & Lisa

Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman could be the first two alumnae of Prince's band to become stars on their own without having to spend a lot of time in public in their underwear. They are musically sophisticated enough, seeming to have merged what they learned as sidepersons in the Revolution (Melvoin on guitars, Coleman on keyboards) with some classical training, jazz inflections and a bent for writing eerily somber pop tunes. The result has a hypnotic appeal. There is a smattering of funk on such basic tracks as Side Show and Waterfall. More striking are the deliberate Blues Away, the philosophical The Life ("Time is the monster/ All of us fight/ The same monster"), the dirgelike Light and White, an instrumental jam session with Melvoin, Coleman and, on sax and lyricon, Tom Scott. On the other tracks Melvoin sings the lead vocals, sometimes threatening to lapse into a drone but usually just staying darkly musical. She, Coleman and two or three pals co-wrote all the songs, which look askance at love and life, except for the incongruous Honeymoon Express. Melvoin's and Coleman's fathers, both Los Angeles studio musicians, are friends, so there's a precedent for the Wendy-Lisa partnership. It wouldn't seem to have a bad future, either. (CBS)

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