MEREDITH BROOKS: Deconstruction (Capitol)

You know, I was really looking forward to this album. Blurring the Edges wasn't great, but it had its share of good tunes. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for Brooks' latest, Decomposing, err... I mean Deconstruction. The songs never get off the ground, the lyrics are loaded with cliches ("Y2K shuts down L.A."), her vocals are weak (not that they were ever strong), and you'd never know she was a guitarist by listening to these songs. As if that wasn't enough, now she thinks she's a rapper.

For the album's first single, she picked a cover of the old Melanie tune, "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)," only for some reason, she thought it would be a good idea to include Queen Latifah. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Queen Latifah, but this pairing just doesn't work. Apparently inspired by all this, Brooks tries rapping herself. Again, it just doesn't work. Too many of the songs are just plain lame. By the time you get to "Bored with Myself" you begin wonder if the song is autobiographical.

The burning question here is: are there any good songs on here at all? The answer is… sort of. On "I Said It," Brooks tries her hand at pop. The song has a decent melody, but unfortunately, with the fluff lyrics, it comes across as little more than a Spice Girls reject. And this is one of the better songs. "Sin City" is the best track of them all, but the repeating chorus at the end of the song prevents you from ever wanting to hear it again. Frisbee anyone?

© 1999 Steve Marshall

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