Picks and Pans Review: Stephanie

updated 09/09/1991 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/09/1991 01:00AM

Stephanie

Ah, here is another singer who needs no introduction and no surname. Alright now, seeing as how this is her American-debut album, we' II help you out a little. It's Stephanie Grimaldi. Of Monaco. Come on, don't make us use the "P" word. You know, Caroline's kid sister. Right, that Stephanie.

And on this record, she's singing about what she knows best: the VIP section at nightclubs around the world. No, sorry. She's singing about l'amour. Toujours l'amour. And who better than the gal who has established a royal record for kissing frogs?

Who better? Well, maybe someone with a voice that encompasses passion or someone who comprehends phrasing. This isn't a humiliating outing. But it sure is embarrassing. Oh, Steph hits all the notes but, unfortunately, without any conviction or depth.

She also had a hand in writing most of the songs on this collection. The best, such as "Winds of Chance," are vapid, Euro-disco pop presented in a fashion that makes Wilson Phillips sound like Aretha Franklin. The worst—"Words upon the Wind," "Unchained"—are so fatuous that Star Search contestants wouldn't touch them with a 10-foot pole.

On the refrain of "Born Blue," a song dedicated to her mother, the late Princess Grace, Stephanie repeats the title over and over. But it sounds distinctly as if she is saying "Mon Dieu/ Mon Dieu"—which would have been an entirely reasonable reaction from her after listening to this LP. Even though Stephanie is, um, you know, a castle dweller, she can't spin soggy hay like this into platinum. (WTG/ Epic)

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