May 26, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT

”Masterpiece Theater” and ”Lucy Pearl”

Replacing their funky-diva exuberance with artsy pretension (a riff on Moonlight Sonata) and don’t-forget-us samples (from their big hit ”Hold On”), En Vogue’s fourth foray Masterpiece Theater is anything but a masterpiece. Ex-Voguer Dawn Robinson fares better with Lucy Pearl, also featuring Tony Toni Tone’s Raphael Saadiq and A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad. With its head-bopping beats and g-anywhere arrangements, Lucy Pearl’s debut is as innovative as it is infectious. Masterpiece Theater: C Lucy Pearl: B+

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