Picks and Pans Review: Electric Landlady

updated 08/19/1991 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/19/1991 01:00AM

Kirsty MacColl

If this record is an indication, going out for ice cream with MacColl must be an exhausting experience. She seems like the type who insists on tasting samples of everything in the place. Certainly, this record has more flavors than you can shake a Creamsicle at.

MacColl, a veteran British singer-songwriter who has had one previous U.S. release, uses everything from Irish folk to American hip hop to Brazilian dance music. While the music is all over the map, two factors provide unifying keys. First is MacColl's hypnotic voice. Thick yet fluid, it bubbles like honey in a microwave. Imagine a kinder, gentler Marianne Faithful.

Then there are the lyrics. MacColl opens up without pretension, whether it's declaring her independence, romantic or otherwise, in "My Affair" or kissing off lovers who never respected her feelings ("All I Ever Wanted" and "He Never Mentioned Love").

A lot of albums try to be all things to all people. Few ever connect the way Electric Landlady does. In a music world that too often never gets past vanilla, Kirsty MacColl is a regular Baskin-Robbins. (Charisma)

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