Picks and Pans Review: Born to Burn

updated 10/17/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/17/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Ethel and the Shameless Hussies

In creating their stage personae—Ethel Beaverton, Bunny O'Hare and Blanche Hickey—Kacey Jones, Becki Fogle and Valerie Hunt have combined the best (and some of the worst) qualities of the Andrews Sisters, Cyndi Lauper and Minnie Pearl. They are clever, cute, musical and occasionally a little hard to take. The song titles on this first album reflect their approach: One Nite Stan, I'm the One Mama Warned You About (which Jones and Mickey James wrote and Mickey Gilley once made a hit), i Thought He Was Mr. Right But Then He Left and Last Night I Really Laid Down the Law, which suggests a creative way for a woman to deal with traffic tickets. Jones, the lead vocalist, has a harsh edge to her voice and a fabricated twang, but she fancies up her delivery in the same way she and the other ladies do their garage-sale stage outfits, so things stay in perspective. These are three women who do not mind wallowing in righteous indignation and can sound playful even as they sing, in the Jones-James tune Takin' My Pain to the Bank, "I wrote this song to tell the world how you burned me/ I wrote this song to even up and make you pay/ I just wanted to explain how you caused me all of this pain/ With your vain and selfish, cold and cunning ways." (MCA)

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