Picks and Pans Review: Dearest Christian,

updated 11/16/1998 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/16/1998 AT 01:00 AM EST

I'm So Very Sorry for Bringing You Here. Love, Dad
P.M. Dawn (Gee Street/V2)

P.M. Dawn has been gradually moving away from hip hop ever since their 1991 debut, so it's no big shock that on the duo's fourth CD, they abandon beats and rhymes and concentrate on the dreamy, multilayered pop songs that have always been their strong suit. This time, deejay JC/The Eternal plays even less of a role, as the spotlight zeroes in on singer-songwriter Prince Be's lush, romantic and often delightfully spacey love songs. Be can churn out glam rock-flavored numbers like "Art Deco Halos," then dive into a sparse, hushed cut like "Misery in Utero." Tunes such as "I Hate Myself for You" and "Screaming at Me," and the album's title itself, reveal Be's ambivalence about bringing a son into this world. Luckily it makes for original pop fodder, and on songs like "Being So Not for You (I Have No Right)," Be marries his self-doubt and self-loathing to some of the most beautiful and aching melodies of recent memory. The delight of Be's songs linger well after the CD ends.

Bottom Line: P.M.'s pop, by any name, sounds pretty sweet

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