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Linda Perry 

In Flight

Wednesday, Oct 12 2005
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In Flight, Linda Perry's first solo album, released in the wake of the massive success of her erstwhile band 4 Non Blondes' "What's Up?," was politely overlooked when it came out in 1995, and it's unlikely to fare much better as a rerelease, despite Perry's newfound status as pop music's most sought-after producer. It's not that the record lacks hooks or radio-friendly (though sometimes dated-sounding) choruses, which are a given with anything made by the woman responsible for Pink's "Get the Party Started" and Christina Aguilera's Grammy-winning "Beautiful." It's that Perry the lyricist is frankly too scary for mass consumption. "I've got a lot of things to tell you," she sings on "Uninvited," and tell us she does -- in bold, loud, lesbian Janis Joplin-isms that are thoughtful and heartfelt but so far afield from the pablum we're used to Perry helming it's a little frightening. America wants Perry behind the scenes -- helping teen pop suck less -- not front and center, spilling her all-too-messy soul. Still, In Flight isn't without its highlights (the honky-tonkish "Fruitloop Daydream," for one), and with post-Non Blondes lyrics like "Will success fail me?/ Will it make me free?" it is perhaps most interesting as a time capsule.

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Maya Kroth

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