STYLE: R&B RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 7289-7062 LABEL: Forefront FFD32589 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2003-09-22 RRP: £4.99
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
A newcomer to CCM wouldn't expect there to be much of a story behind an album by a 17 year old. But this is no ordinary album or no ordinary story. Here's the lowdown. At age 14 Stacie was signed to EMI Christian Music Group's Forefront Records and her debut 'Genuine' was a Christian music smash. After a Christmas EP, in March 2002 she was all set to release the followup 'Say It Again' and undertake a world tour to promote it. Then at the eleventh hour, after 'Say It Again' promos were issued to the media (incidentally resulting in a 10 square review in CR68), the album was unexpectedly pulled from the release schedules, the tour cancelled, and it was announced that EMI had a masterplan to take Stacie up to the next level and turn her into a bona fide pop star. So here's the result. First off, this reviewer was pleased to note that the punchy "Tight", the Destiny Child-influenced "Hesitation" and the lovely soul ballad "That's What Love's About" are all present and correct from the unreleased 'Say It Again'. In fact, five tracks from that item make it on to the new set though one wonders whether it was the explicit God lyrics that kept the excellent "Star Of My Story" off 'Stacie Orrico'. And what of the new tracks? Well, the opener "Stuck" has been a minor pop hit Stateside with a catchy enough chorus and less than original lyrics ("I can't take it what am I waiting for?/My heart's still breaking I miss you even more") while the Diane Warren-penned "I Promise" is too stylised for my taste. There's a positive welter of producers from CCM veterans like Tedd T and Mark Heimermann to hitmaker Dallas Austin and even Virgin Records chairman/CEO Matt Serletic. We now wait and see whether EMI's big push will result in a chart blockbuster. But the sistah sure can sing.
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