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JEAN BEAUVOIR (Buy CDs by this artist)
Drums Along the Mohawk (Columbia) 1986
Jackknifed (Columbia) 1988

The onetime Plasmatics bassist, Ramones producer and Little Steven sideman did almost everything on his first solo album — writing, playing, producing, arranging, etc. Side One of Drums Along the Mohawk (the reference is tonsorial) owes a huge debt to Prince (see the "Little Red Corvette" chapter), but the mainstream rock LP makes chameleonic room for other soundalikes: "Rockin' in the Street" favors Eddy Grant, while most of "This Is Our House" could be Foreigner with better vocals. And darned if that ain't Tom Petty singing "Drive You Home." Welcome to the wax museum...

Recorded in New York, Paris, Stockholm and elsewhere, Jacknifed lets a few musicians share in the fun. Beauvoir thankfully downplays the stylistic clone action (although the Prince influence is far from gone), but forgets to replace it with anything sufficiently original or substantial. His lyrics — clever and provocative — are the best aspect of this highly accomplished and salable album which is neither diverting nor memorable.

[Ira Robbins]