THE ADDAMS FAMILY
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Capitol 98172)
Whenever a box-office smash spins off a top-selling theme song, it's only natural that interested fans would look for it on the soundtrack album. But if you're hoping to snag a copy of Hammer's new hit, "Addams Groove," don't bother heading to the record store for "The Addams Family," because it's not on there. (Nor is it on Hammer's "Too Legit to Quit," unless you buy your copy on cassette). Instead, what you get is a smidgen of Vic Mizzy's original TV theme, a version of "Mamushka" sung by Raul Julia and Christopher Lloyd, and a whole lot of semi-dramatic orchestral music by Marc Shaiman. Creepy? No. Kooky? No. A rip-off? You got it.
RITES OF PASSAGE
Law & Order (MCA 10294)
If social anthropologist Victor Turner's theories on the margin phase in adolescent rites of passage strike you as inappropriate material for rock and roll songs, it's only because you haven't heard the way Law & Order treats those ideas on its second album, "Rites of Passage." Yet as impressive as it is to hear how easily the band's songs deal with complex concepts like sangsara and nirvana (that is, illusion and enlightenment), what makes this album most worth hearing is its music, which finds room for everything from lush vocal harmonies ("Dawn Over Zero") to gritty, Stones-style balladry, to full-tilt boogie rock ("The Open Door"). Definitely an album too good to be missed.