Picks and Pans Review: The Sign

updated 02/28/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/28/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

Ace of Base

Even after Ace of Base top-tenned with their first U.S. single, "All That She Wants," detractors dismissed the four photogenic Swedes as a sugar-pop sequel to fellow Scandinavians ABBA. But the quartet's debut album, The Sign, is a clear signal that more hits are on the way.

Though nowhere near high art, tunes like "Happy Nation" and the title song prove Ace of Base to be more substantive than a mere ABBA clone. Instead of reheating moldy white-bread pop, siblings Jenny, Linn, Jonas "Joker" Berggren and their pal Ulf "Buddha" Ekberg blend reggae syncopation, strobe-light grooves and a jejune point of view, cooking up 45 minutes of delirious fun. (Arista)

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