same old song

1 of the Girls (EastWest)
1 of the Girls

By Kory Wilcoxson

What the R&B world needs now is a little distinctive originality. Don't look for it in 1 of the Girls.

Not that their debut album is bad. Their harmonies are smooth (but not particularly striking) and all the tracks have that necessary singsong quality.

But check out the attitudes at work: the sassy sista routine in "Ain't Giving Up Nothing"; the party feel of "Do Da What"; and the mushy warmth of "When We Kiss." This formula is used more than the Pythagorean Theorem.

1 of the Girls (there's actually four of them) do their best to take this tired concept and make it work. They bring a good amount of liveliness to "Do Da What," giving it enough spunk to classify it as a romp.

They also hold their own on the slow-down moments, only crossing the line into banality. "Handle With Care" and "Will You Be Mine" are well-sung and approach heartfelt.

But throughout the album you can't help but feel you've heard these songs a thousand times. In the end, they're just 1 of the crowd.