Much of the music on Milli Vanilli’s debut album is aimed at the club scene, the most winning example being the hip-hop disco-pop of the title cut. The album feels as though it was rushed to completion to capitalize on the runaway success of that sexy smash single, since the rest of the ideas aren’t as well thought-out.
German producer Frank Farian--best known for his disco hits with a British-based group of West Indians called Boney M.--does have a flair for trendy, Euro-style dance music. But there still isn’t much to endorse on the L.A. duo’s album aside from “Dreams to Remember,” with its moody, jazz undertones, and “Blame It on the Rain,” which carries a faint whiff of ‘60s Memphis soul. The album closes on a “N.Y. Subway Extended Mix” of the title cut featuring a clumsily sampled bit of Bobby Brown’s “Don’t Be Cruel"--making you realize that there is something to be said for leaving well enough alone.
The Swedish duo Roxette (Per Gessle and Marie Fredriksson) is bidding for the same level of pop stardom as ABBA. They’re on their way with their first American hit single “The Look,” and other cuts on their album--like the driving, energetic “Shadow of a Doubt” and the sultry, emotional “Cry"--are just about as crafty. The problem is that most of “Look Sharp!'s” music is of such a light, ephemeral nature that it disappears without a trace the minute the record leaves the turntable. Looks like Roxette’s forte is pop music that is prettily presented but totally disposable.