June 20, 1988 12:00 PM

Pretty Poison

Unannounced, this electro-dance band got its foot in the door of notoriety last year with the breakout hit that has become the album’s title tune. Now they’re trying to push all the way into the house. Like Nu Shooz, who followed pretty much this same pattern a few years ago, Pretty Poison fares reasonably well with a slick and credible (if predictable) record that should induce fans of their first single to reenlist. This is a Philadelphia-area quartet anchored by singer Jade Starling and keyboard player Whey Cooler (nice names for sure, dudes). They favor a musical style that shares blood type with Madonna‘s Into the Groove: a little rock, a little Latin flavoring and a lot of leftover disco. On songs like Hold Me and When I Look into Your Eyes, they carry off the formula to a fare-thee-well. Starling comes straight out of the ’80s girl-singer mold. With her flattish voice, she sounds half bored to tears and half ready to expire from unbridled desire. Cooler is proficient at turning up those jumpy, in-your-face synthesizer hooks. Pretty Poison has surface charm and a good beat. In today’s prevailing musical atmosphere, how can they miss? (Virgin)

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