Picks and Pans Review: Wonderful

updated 03/20/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/20/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST

Adam Ant

British rocker Adam Ant never was much of a singer, but he inspired a minimania here in the early '80s with pop songs full of mad drumming and swashbuckling lyrics. "Antmusic" was a guilty pleasure for many more people than would care to admit it today—or own up to having once wondered how they 'd look in Ant's trademark war paint and puffy shirt. With his first album in five years, Ant, whose real name is Stuart Goddard, wisely avoids trying to revive the old days. Wonderful emphasizes acoustic guitars and echoing vocals, with a vein of '70s-era glam-rock electric guitar often snaking through the mix. The title cut works best, evoking the sort of fretful lassitude that apparently is Ant's latest pose. Lesser entries such as the anemic "Vampires" and clunky "Gotta Be a Sin" just remind us that Adam Ant is a modestly talented fellow whose real genius was for selling a fad. You can't blame him for sounding a bit grim by the end of the album, when he sings over and over again, "It's a very long ride, it's a very long ride." (Capitol)

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