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Dissatisfied with the manufactured girl-group sound of her moderately successful R&B trio Brownstone, singer Kina Cosper left the group to record this striking, tough-talking solo album, which is reminiscent of Tina Turner's switch to rock in the early '80s. But unlike Turner, you probably won't find any of the fierce Kina's songs on dentist-friendly adult-contemporary stations anytime soon, because of edgy and occasionally profane lyrics like "Yeah, I'm feeling low/Please don't come to preach/Don't need no goddamn happy speech." Those verses are from the album's best track, "Have a Cry," in which Kina wittily shrugs off friends who try to cheer her up during moments of pain ("There ain't nothing you can say/Don't come sing 'Amazing Grace'"). Other highlights include the fun revenge anthem "Girl From the Gutter" and a hidden track that sounds like a closing-credits song from one of the latter-day Bond movies. Kina will win over R&B listeners who'd like a little more rock in their soul. (Jim Aquino)

Power to the People

Power to the People
Cyanide Records

The March release of Crack a Smile ... and More! sure cured my jones for a Poison fix. But though it hit shelves just this year, that album was actually recorded in 1994. Power to the People better demonstrates where Poison stands now with five new songs and 13 live tracks from last year's summer tour. The new material is vintage Poison with a modern kick, complete with the mandatory rock anthem ("Power to the People") and power ballad ("The Last Song"). "Can't Bring Me Down" and "Strange" reveal a new sense of maturity within the band. Recently reinstated guitarist C.C. DeVille's "I Hate Every Bone in Your Body But Mine" is an old-school scorcher in the same vein as Dangerous Toys. On the live songs, Poison really cuts loose with favorites from Look What the Cat Dragged In, Open Up and Say ... Ahh and Flesh and Blood. (Sarah Quelland)

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From the August 10-16, 2000 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2000 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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