April 29, 1991 12:00 PM


Every strip club in the country should be a much happier place to be, thanks to this album. The music is precisely the sort of stuff every topless dancer worth her tassels will soon be coordinating a routine to, and not simply because the first single is called “I Touch Myself.”

First, there’s the music’s irresistible bump and grind. Every tune on this fine album slinks along sexily with a pop hook that yanks your ears and feet right into the tune. We’re not talking icky-gooey, Richard Marx-style hooks. When things get cranking on such numbers as “Need a Lover” and “Bless My Soul (It’s Rock-n-Roll),” it’s like hearing a sultrier version of AC/DC.

Then there are the lyrics, sung and cowritten by Christina Amphlett, a performer so up-front about her sexuality she makes Madonna seem like your spinster aunt in Arkansas. And Amphlett can deliver such lyrics as “I’m the mistress of the night/No stranger to your fantasy/Lashings of a recipe/I’m whipping something up/That’s just for you” on a record without earning a parental warning label.

It’s not as if she sounds innocent. Amphlett’s sexy voice can go from a little-girl coo on “If Love Was a Gun” to a gritty growl on “Lay Your Body Down,” all the while sounding like somebody who could make big money starling up a “976 number” phone line. (Virgin)

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