February 11, 1994 at 05:00 AM EST
We gave it an A-

Last summer, Temple University roommates Jean Norris and Renee Neufville — who combined their first names, as well as their singing talents, to form Zhane — seemed headed for the great hall of one-hit wonders. Plucked from a compilation released by Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit Records, their first single, ”Hey Mr. D.J.,” caught fire with its prancing bass line and anthemic chorus. Cutesy dance ditties like that often fade as quickly as they come, yet Pronounced Jah-Nay (Motown) promises to prove the exception, making the duo’s first hit seem like a mere blueprint for what was to come. The album’s bouncy, uncluttered grooves provide the perfect backdrop for the duo’s sweet, intertwining harmonies. Songs like ”Changes” and ”You’re Sorry Now” may not burn up the dance floor — they’re closer to Anita Baker than to Janet Jackson — but you won’t be able to stop humming them for the rest of the winter. You’d never guess that Pronounced was produced by none other than Naughty by Nature’s Kay Gee. Although the slower tunes are less distinctive and the faster ones occasionally lapse into formula, it’s not enough to mar the soulful, heartfelt mood that these two have lovingly constructed. A-

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