Review : Kristinia DeBarge - Exposed
EwKristinia DeBarge, whose father, James, was a member of '80s R&B-family hitmakers DeBarge, has already scored a top 20 hit: the featherweight kiss-off ''Goodbye,'' which cannily samples one-off wonder Steam's 1969 sports-stadium staple, ''Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye.'' It likely helped the 19-year-old land a gig opening for Britney Spears' Circus tour beginning this August, though Exposed's airy, girlish pop — especially cotton-candy Casio grooves like ''Future Love'' and ''Died in Your Eyes'' — mostly recalls the female stars of her dad's era: Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam, Paula Abdul, and (coincidence?) Exposé. B...full text
RollingstoneOn her Babyface-assisted debut, this 19-year-old nearly pulls a hamstring striving for the emotive power of Rihanna or Christina. But she's most fun riding lilting, girly R&B not so different from her dad James' tunes in 1980s group DeBarge. There's childlike confusion on "Cried Me a River," where love is so scary, it's like she's "on E," and "Future Love" is one of the shyest songs about stalking ever. What's that about kids today having no attention spans?...full text
LatimesIn a summer well stocked with tween-friendly chart pop (Demi Lovato, Jordin Sparks and Ashley Tisdale), it helps to have some highly placed connections. Kristinia DeBarge boasts several: Her father, James, was a member of DeBarge, the popular '80s family band. The executive producer of her debut album is Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, the powerful artist-turned-executive. And the sample in her hit single "Goodbye" is from Steam's 1969 smash "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye," the sports-stadium staple so ubiquitous that it's still turning whatever it touches into Top 40 gold.
Accordingly, the pleasures on "Exposed" are familiar ones -- there's even a track titled "Cried Me a River." Another is called "Died in Your Eyes," though it's unlikely that 19-year-old DeBarge's target audience includes anyone old enough to remember the Cutting Crew hit its title echoes.
Of course, among pop's central virtues is the fact that on the radio, familiarity rarely breeds contempt. Although DeBarge, who'll open Britney Spears' arena tour later this year, has nothing unique to say about falling in or out of love, what she does have -- strong tunes, a nice voice and an ample supply of fresh-faced charm -- is far more important....full text
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