Picks and Pans Review: Very Necessary

updated 02/21/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/21/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

Salt 'N' Pepa

Today's female MCs are getting harder and rougher, so it should be no shock that Salt 'N' Pepa's fourth album is raunchy, rowdy and fully befitting the girls whose hits include "Let's Talk About Sex." Their certified-gold hit "Shoop" is a grinding, bluesy come-on that overflows with good-natured lewdness. Yet Salt 'N' Pepa never allow themselves to be exploited. Okay, there's the somewhat regressive line about wanting to have some guy's baby (on the R&B-stoked "Whatta Man," featuring En Vogue), but missteps like that are easily forgot on an album that includes a poignant call for AIDS education. (Next Plateau/London/PLG)

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