Katharine McPhee
by Katharine McPhee, pop (2007)

American Idol 5 runner-up Katharine McPhee is beautiful and loves her dresses that show off her kittens. There's nothing wrong with flaunting one's assets, of course - I would too if I have them and I'm pretty sure Taylor Hicks would love to have them as well if it can help him revive his dire album sales. She is also a young woman who, with the right material, makes great pop music. Katharine McPhee has many such right material, but these songs have a sound that is synonymous with a few more established female singers out there that they end up making Ms McPhee look like an imitator.

The lead single Over You is a catchy track with a great hook. It's a song with an easy-to-remember-and-sing-along melody that sticks to the mind and won't let go. Unfortunately, it makes her sound a lot like Victoria Beckham with more range, especially during the verse. Fortunately, only a devoted Spice Girls fan like me may come to this conclusion and not many of these Spice Girls fans are around nowadays.

The fabulous Not Ur Girl, Do What You Do, and Dangerous see Ms McPhee even contorting her voice to sound eeriely similar to one Mariah Carey. The great ballads Home and Ordinary World see her channeling Christina Aguilera. In fact, Home and Christina Aguilera's Beautiful are nearly indistinguishable.

Therefore, I'm torn. Musically, many of the songs here are excellent ear candy. Katharine McPhee is one album that I've replayed many times on my player without wearing out its welcome because many songs here, especially Not Ur Girl and Over It, embody the best of pop music: catchy, unpretentious, and fun to sing along with. However, as good as this CD is, I don't get the feeling that this is a Katharine McPhee CD as much as it's a CD of a young lady who is singing songs made for other people, like other people. This is never a problem for Kylie Minogue, who manages to be fun and fluffy in a career that spans about twenty years and outlives even some of her most vocal detractors in the media. But for every Kylie Minogue there are about a hundred Tara Kemps, so I won't advise anyone to emulate Ms Minogue's career footsteps. Katharine McPhee is young though and this is her first CD, so hopefully she'll learn how to bring out the Katharine McPhee in her future works as prominently as her ta-ta's in her glamorous photos.

Rating: 88

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