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B+

Pure and Simple

Producer (group): Blackheart, Warner Bros.

Joan Jett’s latest, Pure and Simple, is mostly a defiant record about love gone bad; she even wrote two songs with Kathleen Hanna of the riot grrrl band Bikini Kill. But at the same time, it’s strangely sunny. Jett writes scrappy melodies that make you smile, and her tribute to the grrrl movement, ”Activity Grrrl,” is surprisingly mild. She still has one foot in the mainstream (collaborating here with tunesmith-for-hire Desmond Child) and one foot on the edge. But when she and the Blackhearts crack the rock & roll whip as hard as they do here, she can get away with just about anything. B+

Originally posted June 17 1994 — 12:00 AM EDT

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