September 28, 1981 12:00 PM

ME Rachel Sweet

Strangely enough, the best cut on this LP, too, is Everlasting Love, with Rachel and Rexie. Sweet is, however, by far the more interesting performer, even if her punkette pose is less than authentic. Rather than spending most of her 18 years on the streets, as her repertoire would suggest, she’s been working at being a pop star since 13. She even did something no self-respecting outlaw gal would contemplate—she graduated from high school (Akron’s Firestone High). But her abrasive style and material combine cynicism and dumb romantic notions in an amusing way. She’s the ideal singer to revive the two 1963 hits she performs here—Then He Kissed Me and Be My Baby, from the Phil Spector era of greaser chic. While Sweet’s own songs, such as S tree (heart, Billy and the Gun and Party Girl, are basically anthems to juvenile delinquency, they reflect the raw, primitive vitality that is Sweet’s most intriguing quality.

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