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Lila McCann

Something in the Air – 1999 (Asylum)

Reviewed by Eli Messinger

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CDs by Lila McCann

Early stardom is a tightrope walk between preternatural maturity and treacly teenagerisms. Few adolescents have the perspective to really illuminate new corners of the human condition, instead finding themselves somewhere between unexperienced adult emotions and simple dramas of not-quite-adulthood.

McCann navigated this dichotomy by leaning on her youth, She does not provide startling revelations about life, yet, despite the undistinguished, radio-friendly production, she finds a distinct voice. There's a spark of artistry, raising even these early works above the similarly-aged boy-bubblegum climbing the pop charts.

The earliness of her years are as an asset for McCann. While her confidence is increasing, she still keeps the rhythms of a teenager; her bounciness reminiscent of Tanya Tucker, Lorrie Collins of The Collins Kids or even Debbie Gibson. This is especially successful on playful numbers like "Rhymes With" and "Crush," as well as Michael Dulaney's wonderfully melodic "Something in the Air" and McCann's own "Can You Hear Me."

McCann's sophomore release adds maturity and experience to her debut and points to a bright future.