January 31, 1994 12:00 PM

Lisa Lisa

When she was 16, while fronting Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam, she took Latin hip hop from the streets to the top of the pop charts. Yet as great as the early years were, Lisa Lisa then ain’t Lisa Lisa 10 years later. From the seductive stroll through the burnt remains of a love affair on “Why Can’t Lovers” or the fierce guitar-stoked wail, “Knockin’ Down the Walls of Love,” to the sly innuendo of “Mr. Jimmy,” Lisa Lisa leaves her past in the past.

Some things, though, remain the same. Lisa Lisa is not a particularly strong singer, but her breathy and deceptively fragile voice insinuates and molds itself into the grooves. Case in point: “Skip to My Lu,” a funky mishmash of acoustic guitars, pulsating acid jazz horns and a hip-hop down stroke that vibrates like a jackhammer. It is a sassy, oh-so-sexy poke at anyone who ever doubted her power, and kissing someone off never swung so hard—or sounded so cool. (Pendulum/ERG)

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