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Album Review

August 21, 1994|Lorraine Ali

LUSCIOUS JACKSON

"Natural Ingredients"

Grand Royal/Capitol

* * *

New York's Luscious Jackson has all the right ingredients for an insta-buzz: The quartet was not only the first band out on the Beastie Boys' Grand Royal label, but is also one of the only white, female hip-hop-based groups around. But the band hardly rests on those hype-ish elements.

On its first full album, Luscious picks up where the underdeveloped but promising EP "In Search of Manny" left off. Vocals by bassist Jill Cuniff and guitarist Gabby Glaser are enigmatic and sultry, like a post-Latifah Lauren Bacall, while such lyrics as "Hey energy sucker, I'm a goddess, not your mother" leave no guessing where the band's head is at.

Muffled dance beats, fleeting vocal effects and Curtis Mayfield samples, sax and groovy organ are all very low-key and calm. "Natural" can be a bit too understated at times, but for the most part its subtlety helps make it a unique and compelling album.

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor) to four stars (excellent).

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