Chynna Phillips – Naked and Sacred (1995)

Bet you didn’t even know this thing existed, did you?

Don’t feel bad. Chynna’s post-Wilson Phillips coming out party, Naked and Sacred, was one of the biggest duds of 1995, selling fewer than 25,000 units stateside. Given how meekly EMI promoted the album, it’s tempting to believe its release was part of some contractual obligation left over from the dissolution of Wilson Phillips’ EMI-owned label, SBK Records — but then again, as any one who’s actually listened to the album could tell you, the biggest promotional budget in the world couldn’t have saved this turkey.

The problems begin with the single’s title. “Naked and Sacred” (download)? Seriously? Okay, okay — it was written by Rick Nowels, Tom Kelly, and Billy Steinberg, three names synonymous with dopey pop songs, but they usually manage to come up with a hooky melody to Sheetrock over their asinine lyrics (case in point: “Heaven Is a Place on Earth,” which Nowels co-wrote with Ellen Shipley).

No hooks here. And even worse is the boner killer implicit in the title — hey, Chynna Phillips is naked! And…sacred? What? One of these things does not belong, Chynna. If you want to be naked, that’s great, but put the scriptures away. Of course, “Naked and On All Fours” doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as easily as “Naked and Sacred,” but I’m going to go out on a limb and say it would have been a bigger hit anyway.

Thankfully, Chynna gets down to business on the single’s B-side, “Follow Love Down” (download). Yes, it’s unbelievably annoying that she spends half the song trying to “rock out” (and sounding like Lita Ford with a bad cold), but that’s easy enough to forgive, because she spends the other half moaning, singing cheap double entendres, and generally demonstrating that she’s been a very bad girl and might actually need a spanking.

I’m sorry, what were we talking about?

Oh. Right. This shitty single. Well, there isn’t much else to say, really; if you’ve listened to a few bars of one or both of these songs, you’ve heard more of Chynna Phillips’ solo album than most of the rest of the world, which is why Wilson Phillips staged a “comeback” in the early double aughts. (The resultant album, California, might have been even worse than Naked and Sacred, but that’s for another post.) But don’t be sad for Chynna — she’s got her marriage to Billy Baldwin, and their three kids, and those “Hold On” royalties. And hey, it could have been worse — this could have been titled Naked and Carnie.

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Jeff Giles

Jeff Giles is the founder and editor-in-chief of Popdose and Dadnabbit, as well as an entertainment writer whose work can be seen at Rotten Tomatoes and a number of other sites. Hey, why not follow him at Twitter while you're at it?

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