Blue Is for Girls

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In the world of teen or preteen pop, there's practically an unwritten rule that the music must be over-produced, sugary, sentimental, and, logically, heavily geared toward its young audience. Despite or perhaps because of all this, there can actually be a lot of catchy -- albeit ridiculous -- songs sung by children too young to drive themselves to the studio. Unfortunately, such is not the case with the "indie" (meaning they're not on a major label -- thereby lacking some of the major label studio effects -- not that they're trying anything particularly unique) girl group the Gemz. While the songs on Blue Is for Girls do follow the predictable power pop chords, the music is neither catchy enough nor are the five singers' voices strong enough to make anything on the album memorable or good, even in that guilty pleasure kind of way. More than anything else, the Gemz come off as sounding cheesy and kind of fake. It doesn't help that there's a lot of spoken commentary during the songs, too, from the asides -- "oh, he's cute" -- in the hyper-inane "You Can Call Me" to the narration on "She's Got a Boyfriend," that, besides being absolutely unnecessary, is also distracting. And their (or rather, their songwriters') attempts at diversity are embarrassing, in particular, the "Latin"-tinged "Bop to the Top," complete with Spanish phrases ("mucho gusto!" "ay ay ay arriba!" "caly-ente!"), like Miami Sound Machine gone horribly, horribly wrong. To be fair, the Gemz do their best to promote positive messages about being a girl, believing in yourself, etc., etc., but it's not enough to make up for everything else that they do. Blue Is for Girls has the bad aspects of girl pop without the things that also make it fun, and they lack any kind of originality. On the plus side, however, the oldest member was 15 when the album was recorded, so there's still plenty of time for them to find something better to do, musically related or not.

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