September 05, 1988 12:00 PM

Paula Abdul

An ex-Los Angeles Lakers cheerleader and choreographer for such videos as Janet Jackson‘s Control and ZZ Top’s Velcro Fly, as well as the film Coming to America, Abdul, 24, makes her album debut with this record. It is full of discofied tracks on which Abdul’s voice is backed up, overdubbed and submerged with great efficiency, leaving the impression that as a singer, she is a fine dancer. The liveliest cuts are The Way That You Love Me and Opposites Attract, written and produced by Oliver Leiber (son of Jerry Leiber, co-composer of Jailhouse Rock and There Goes My Baby); there’s something to be said for Elliot Wolff’s Straight Up too. Otherwise Abdul faces such worn-out lyrics as “Can’t deny/The feelings deep inside/Our hearts and minds.” This is a burden she doesn’t need. Perhaps the album’s most intriguing quality is the number of support personnel who have only one name. “Pebbles” is among the backup singers. Ta Mara co-wrote one song. There’s a “Babyface” playing keyboards, a “Kayo” on bass synthesizers and a “St. Paul” on miscellaneous instruments (harp isn’t among them). Abdul includes a “Snookyputs” in her acknowledgments, but he doesn’t count because he has a whole name—Steve Zap. (Virgin)

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