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Jessica Andrews

Who I Am – 2001 (DreamWorks Nashville)

Reviewed by Mike Clark

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CDs by Jessica Andrews

Jessica Andrews was arguably the most vocally talented of the last wave of Nashville teens, with a mature voice that retained youthful wonder without pandering to teenage tastes. No one expects Andrews to chuck the pop superhighway for the safe - and less profitable - country road. But this is "Faith Lite" as Byron Gallimore has replaced bouncy enthusiasm with calculation and high gloss.

"Helplessly, Hopelessly, Recklessly" sounds like none of the above, just very slick and uninspired. "These Wings" finds the youngster comparing herself to a butterfly; it isn't hard to imagine a video utilizing "This Kiss" outtakes. On the plus side, the title track is an engaging single; "Wishing Well" is another solid song from Phil Vassar, working in tandem with Annie Roboff; and "Good Friend to Me," written by Andrews, Roboff and Bekka Bramlett, features a welcome R&B groove and doesn't attempt to make her sound more mature.

There may be hits here, but "hit records" and "quality music" are not synonymous. This is not up to the standards of her debut; even more importantly, it isn't up to the level of her talent.