September 09, 1985 12:00 PM

The Motels

Martha Davis and her group haven’t quite turned into the Holiday Inn of pop rock, but they have become institutionalized. While this is a predictable, carefully packaged record, it does not lack verve. Davis’ world-weary singing style is distinctive and expressive, and the songs she writes are sometimes routine, yet never dumb. It’s a little monotonous that almost all of the tunes on this LP are played at the same three-quarter-speed-ahead-tempo. When the band slows down a little, for the effectively dreamy Annie Told Me, or charges out on the punning Icy Red, the change of pace is startling and shows what the Motels are capable of. (Capitol) (CD)

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