Marisa Fox
February 07, 1992 AT 05:00 AM EST

Tropic of Love

Current Status
In Season
JC Lodge
Tommy Boy

We gave it an A-

JC Lodge’s sultry ”Telephone Love” breezed through radio in ’88 and became the first huge club hit from Jamaica since Bob Marley’s death. With that song, the London-born Lodge put Jamaica’s current ”dance-hall” style on the map in this country — though her smooth, sexy tone didn’t necessarily reflect the rootsy style of most dance-hall music. None of her first four solo records, no matter how full of mellow love songs — vocally she’s Jamaica’s Anita Baker — ever took off here. Now, with this one, her fifth (and her first to be widely distributed) she has taken a more polished turn. Her vocals — ranging from the jazzy cool of Sade (on ”Home Is Where the Hurt Is,” the first single) to the sultry sound of a sex kitten (on ”Prey,” which kicks off with the theme from Mission: Impossible) swell over a sea of seductive rhythms, accented with snare drums, echoing ”dub”-style bass lines, and catchy hooks. On nearly every track, she sings a warm, even steamy tune. A-

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