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** 1/2 WARRANT "Cherry Pie" Columbia : Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor) to five (a classic). :

September 16, 1990|DENNIS HUNT

Much of Warrant's success is due to its clever pandering to the sexism rampant among young metalmaniacs. On its second album, which features mostly high-powered rockers, Warrant is at its macho best with the Queen-influenced "Cherry Pie," a raunchy ode to a sexpot, and "Love in Stereo," which celebrates having sex with two women simultaneously.

But there's a strange twist to this album, and by pop-metal's rather low standards it's fairly impressive: Warrant's women-as-sex-objects stance doesn't pervade the entire album. On several songs--"Bed of Roses" and the ballads "Blind Faith" and "I Saw Red"--women are actually regarded as human beings. Warrant had better watch it. Hearing those unusually tender (for this genre) ballads, some metal fans might think the band has gone soft. Showing too much sensitivity toward women's feelings is a quick way to kill off a budding pop-metal career.

By far the best of these songs--most of them written by lead singer Jani Lane--is "Uncle Tom's Cabin," a taut, hard-rocking tale of murder. At the other end of the quality spectrum is the childish stream of spoken obscenities called "Ode to Tipper Gore." Warrant could have devised a more intelligent way to protest censorship.

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