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B+

Whaler

Lead Performer: Sophie B. Hawkins

Unlike other current practitioners of over-the-top pop, such as Toni Childs and Tori Amos, Sophie B. Hawkins values rhythmic grooves that lend some discipline to fervid emotionalism. The result is Whaler, music at once extravagantly excessive and irresistibly catchy. ”I am the wild woman at your door,” she howls on ”The Ballad of Sleeping Beauty,” which is not the way I remember Sleeping Beauty, but which aptly describes her charmingly overactive imagination. B+

Originally posted August 5 1994 — 12:00 AM EDT

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