Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Foxx find their grooves
Followers of the increasingly crowded tween-rock scene had much to look forward to when Lindsay Lohan issued Speak (Casablanca), her debut album, 13 months ago. For one thing, she had an impressive track record, having contributed a handful of excellent bubblegrunge tunes to the Freaky Fridayand Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen soundtracks. (This is more than can be said for Kelly Clarkson, whose mushy American Idol performances hardly presaged the triumph of Breakaway.) More important, by the time of Speak’s release, the vicissitudes of Lohan’s personal life were already well known to readers of Star and US Weekly. If Ashlee Simpson could mine the kind of drama heard on her 2004 debut, the reasoning went, we’d be in for some real fireworks from Lohan.
In the event, with the exception of "Rumors," an excellent disco-rock single about the actress’s love-hate relationship with the gossip press, Speak was irredeemably dull — hardly the Hollywood tell-all Lohan’s tabloid antics had promised. It almost seemed as if the CD had been masterminded by her army of PR drones to prove that their client is a normal teenage girl.
That’s not the case on the new A Little More Personal (Raw) (Casablanca). As the cover story in the current Vanity Fair attests, Lohan’s universe hasn’t quite stabilized; the actress speaks candidly about boozing and drugging, bulimia, her rocky romance with actor Wilmer Valderrama, and the ongoing family chaos created by her father. And this time the 19-year-old has used her demons to make some very exciting music. Casablanca chief Tommy Mottola says in the Vanity Fair story that "Confessions of a Broken Heart," Personal’s opener, is one of the best songs he’s ever heard. Well, it is one of the most emotional tween-rock singles yet, with Lohan begging for an explanation from her deadbeat dad over crashing guitars and pounding drums. In "My Innocence" she rages like Evanescence’s Amy Lee, claiming she "was born a fighter" while gloomy goth-pop piano rumbles behind her.
Even the up numbers throb with wasted energy; that includes the title track, a killer synth-rock jam as addictive as anything on the Killers’ Hot Fuss, and an amped-up cover of Cheap Trick’s "I Want You To Want Me" that functions as a sly comment on Lohan’s co-dependent relationship with the paparazzi. She’s even better in her spooky version of Stevie Nicks’s "Edge of Seventeen": as the song climaxes and a string section saws away around her, you can hear the catharsis this young woman experiences from making music.
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