Picks and Pans Review: Brand New

updated 11/24/1997 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/24/1997 AT 01:00 AM EST


For more than 11 years, Salt-N-Pepa (Cheryl James, Sandi Denton and deejay Dee Dee "Spinderella" Roper) have combined love of family, community, self, sex and God into an empowering brand of pop-rap that never fails to entertain while it educates. One of the biggest selling female rap acts ever stays on the good foot with their uneven but ultimately enjoyable fifth album. While attempting to tackle a gamut of genres—their subtle interpolation of Aretha Franklin's hit "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man" is renamed "Do Me Right"; a bluesy rock number, "Imagine," features vocals by Sheryl Crow—they stumble occasionally, as on a dance-hall ditty called "Friends." Yet even with its faults, Brand New succeeds thanks to the winning spirit of its creators. (London/Red Ant/Island)

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