Past, Present & Future
stands as the most complete compilation of Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam
's hits, assembling all eight of their U.S. Hot 100 hits, as well as three new songs and one new remix. The music still sounds fresh and innocent, bringing to mind old high-school dances and romances, without sounding clichéd or dated. What the album could use, however, is much more extensive liner notes and improved cover art. This album includes all of the band's hits, from the early freestyle crossover jams "I Wonder If I Take You Home" and "Can You Feel the Beat" to the tragic high-school romance ballad "All Cried Out," which resurfaced in the mid-'90s as a Top Ten hit for the vocal group Allure
. The album's highlights, of course, are their two number one hits, "Head to Toe" and "Lost in Emotion," which established them as one of the premier hitmaking acts of the mid- to late '80s. To round out the hits are "Little Jackie Wants to Be a Star," an earthy and organic cautionary tale about success and its pitfalls, and their surprise 1991 house-dance smash, "Let the Beat Hit 'Em," produced by then ultra-hot Clivillés & Cole
of C+C Music Factory
fame. The new tracks on this set don't quite live up to their golden-era hits, but include a fun remake of Teena Marie
's "I Need Your Lovin'" and a new hip-hop remix of "I Wonder If I Take You Home." All in all, a surprisingly great album, with the hits sounding just as fun and fresh as they did when they first hit the airwaves.