Picks and Pans Review: Open Sesame

updated 11/02/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/02/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST


In the publicity accompanying their third album, the Brooklyn trio Whodini mysteriously proclaim themselves the Sex Symbols of Rap. Ecstacy, Jalil and Grandmaster Dee should have spent less time worrying about their machismo rankings and more time on the record. Open Sesame is a smug and diffuse collection. It's not that they've lost their touch entirely. On Rock You Again (Again & Again), the rap and the rhythmic portions are sturdy, but the chorus, with its tired Run-D.M.C. metal rock guitar, is clichéd. The same uneven quality applies to Hooked On You. The go-go beat is infectious; the horn charts are boring. Other songs, such as Be Yourself, are just monotonous. The only songs with the bravado to match Whodini's earlier work are You Brought It on Yourself and I'm Def (Jump Back and Kiss Myself). Ecstacy and Jalil still have rap's bounciest, most melodic diction, but on Open Sesame they seem to be talking mostly to hear the sound of their own voices. (Jive/Arista)

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