Beginnings of a pint-sized diva
rmcrae | Houston, Texas | 05/17/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For a 10 year old teen pop record, Christina's debut has aged pretty well. Some cheesy spots here and there, but surprisingly mature and catchy as ever. Blessed with Whitney's power, Mariah's airy notes, and a wide range, "the little girl with the big voice" blew fellow pop tarts Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, and Mandy Moore out of the water.
Genie In A Bottle was an obvious choice for a summer single with it's breezy synth and laidback approach. The lyrics are sexy, but tasteful. I won't type them since that song was played so often you can sing them in your sleep. What A Girl Wants is so catchy you can't get the chorus out of your head. You know you sing it! "What I want/Is what ya got/And what ya got/Is what I want!" The saucy Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You) gives Christina a chance to throw down and go crazy with the runs and melisma, but not in an over the top fashion. The lyrics are racier with Chrissy teasingly persuading her man to get it on with her, but nothing too explicit.
The Mulan single Reflection is a soaring self-esteem anthem and I Turn To You is a sentimental power ballad penned by Diane Warren. When You Put Your Hands on Me (the "talk box" wasn't necessary), Somebody's Somebody, and Love Will Find a Way are filler, but memorable. The sensual So Emotional and fluid Love For All Seasons are addictive and Blessed is a well sung ballad.
Christina's shining performance comes in the form of the closer Obvious. "Can you hear it in my voice?/Was it something I let slip?/Does the whole world know?/Isn't it obvious?/I'm the one who's in control/Now I'm acting like a fool/Do my feelings show?/Is my face aglow?/Isn't it obvious?/That I don't know what I'm doing anymore?/I'm feeling like a little girl/Caught up in emotions/I'm out of control/Isn't it obvious?" Her voice carries so much confusion and sorrow that previews the aura around her next album Stripped.
The best thing about her debut is Christina's vocals are restrained. She still hits her fair share of notes and belts and runs, but it's pleasing to the ear. Like the old adage says, less is more."