Picks and Pans Review: Straight Outta Hell's Kitchen

updated 09/23/1991 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/23/1991 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam

If nothing else, at least Lisa Lisa is still pop music's reigning Collaboration Queen. Her three previous records featured Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam with Full Force. This time it's Lisa and Cult Jam with Full Force and C + C Music Factory. Sounds more like a streetwise law firm.

This creative fusion adds up to less than the sum of its parts. Hitmakers Robert Clivll├ęs and David Cole (the Music Factory's C and C) wrote and produced one half of this album, with Full Force's funksters doing the other. Their handiwork didn't give Lisa a bad record, just a not very distinctive one.

The C + C songs reflect the producers' trademark '90s disco sound, minus the rock muscle that makes the Music Factory hum. The Full Force side is a bit better because there's some real funk going on, putting Lisa's sultry-but-sweet voice to good use.

Still, whether it's dreamy ballads ("Don't Say Goodbye") or rap ("Let the Beat Hit 'Em") or percussive groove machines ("I Like It, I Like It"), there isn't a song here that won't remind you of a hit from any dance diva. You'll probably hear lots of Hell's Kitchen on the radio. You just won't remember much of it two months from now. (Columbia)

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