Picks and Pans Review: Thought Ya Knew

updated 02/07/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/07/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

CeCe Peniston

CeCe Periston's "Finally" was easily the best dance club hit of 1992. Overflowing with verve and loaded up with joyous girlie glee, the single went Top 10 and helped make Peniston's debut album go gold. Unfortunately for Miss P, there's little on Thought Ya Knew that can touch the ecstatic, beat-heavy power of "Finally." It's not that she doesn't work it, she just works it with a bit of reserve, and reserve is anathema to dance music. CeCe's triumphant wail is often harnessed, notably on the single "I'm in the Mood," which is conneet-the-dots dance pop. When Peniston lets loose, she wrecks shop, like on the jumping "Hit by Love," the giddy "Give What I'm Givin'," or the thump-fest "Keep Givin' Me Your Love." Part of the problem may he in Peniston's big-time pop success and a new need to be seen as more than just a dance-music artist. That may explain the ballads from hell, which are no doubt meant to make her seem, somehow, serious. But all the slow stuff does is focus on Peniston's vocal limitations and slow the pace. The noise is way more glorious when CeCe decides to turn the beat around. (A&M)

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