Straight Outta Hell's Kitchen

By naming her new album Straight Outta Hell’s Kitchen — a funny takeoff on Straight Outta Compton by the infamous rap posse N.W.A — Latin pop-dance star Lisa Lisa apparently wants to let us know she’s up on what’s hip. For the first half of the album, she hired the trendy C+C Music Factory, who subordinate her big voice to their skiddy funk beats and retro-gospel climaxes. C+C’s mixes don’t allow much room for personality, though, between the hot salsa, hot ‘n’ heavy breathing, and the rain shower that opens the sad ”Don’t Say Goodbye.” On the album’s second half, Lisa’s longtime production pals Full Force construct an even trendier collage, complete with jazz and African music, unexplained conversation, and a radio playing Lisa’s old hits. It’s her voice — more powerful than ever — that ties all this together. By balancing lush lullabies like ”Forever” and ”Sensuality” with rockers like ”Let It Go,” Lisa makes sure the montage doesn’t come off disjointed or cold. B+

Straight Outta Hell's Kitchen
  • Music