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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Cheyenne Kimball is 15 years old. She plays guitar (which is hammered over your head with each promo shot) and co-writes all of her songs with people like Billy Mann (Pink's "God Is a DJ" and "Stupid Girls", Jessica Simpson's "With You", Backstreet Boys' "Poster Girl", and others), Chantal Kreviazuk and Raine Maida (Kelly Clarkson's "Walk Away" and "Where Is Your Heart"), and Kara DioGuiardi (pick a female teen pop-rock album out of the hat, although she may be best known for being 90% of the lead vocals of Hilary Duff's "Come Clean"). She first came to be semi-known by winning the NBC competition America's Most Talented Kid a few years ago, which was enough to get her signed to Epic Records and get her a current reality show with MTV, where she is apparently really annoying, but I can't judge because I haven't watched a second of it.

With a pedigree like this, you'd expect a huge hit like Ashlee Simpson's debut pre-SNL, right? Not so much. It's not even reaching Ashley Parker Angel levels of success. The single, "Hangin' On", hasn't exactly caught on with radio, and first-day predictions have the album selling 30,000 copies in its first week, far below expectations. I was one of those people. It's a pretty solid CD, especially for the sale price I got it at. Warning: her voice can get very annoying and grating at times. I think this could at least partly be because her age, but it can get a bit hard to listen to a lot of her songs in a sitting. But in smaller doses, and separated from the overhype surrounding her so called "credibility", it's pretty sweet.

Wonderful (Acoustic Version) - This is a bonus track on the version of the album I bought from Target. It features pop singer Josh Hodge and is a nice ballad. It's listed as an acoustic version, but I honestly don't hear much that's acoustic about it...it sounds fully produced to me.
Too Good For You - The other bonus track that is more uptempo and driving. It's definitely regular-album-worthy in my eyes
Drift Away - A bonus track on the iTunes version of the album that I managed to acquire through other means. It starts out slow and acoustic-like and then settles into more of a beat, with the guitars almost country like.

Mr. Beautiful - Anybody know if this is the same song called "Mr. Beautiful" slated to be the b-side to the new Frank (who often to tout the fact that they play instruments as well, despite that their first video shows no instruments or, come to think of it, purpose for the three members that aren't the lead singer - at least the useless Pussycat Dolls members dance around, but I digress.) single "I'm Not Shy"? Interestingly, this is the only song on the album (other than the bonus tracks) that has no lyrics listed in the booklet. It's an anthemic Chantal/Raine/Cheyenne number. This would be one of the more unusual examples of song swapping i'd have heard of, but it's impossible to rule out completely. ;)
Hello Goodbye - Catchy, speedy kiddie pop punk to the extreme, like before Avril Lavigne got all serious on us and married the guy from Sum 41. (Congtratulations!) As a bonus, it's under three minutes long.
Breaking Your Heart (Acoustic) - Somewhat unusually, this version is piano- as opposed to guitar based. It's pretty catchy and good, in my opinion.

Last Updated @ 11:54 PM