When Kendall Payne appeared at 1998's Lillith Fair festival and made her recording debut with Jordan's Sister, the artists she was compared to ranged from Jewel to Alanis Morrissette. But the singer/songwriter's amplified, uptempo rockers aren't as angry or as angst-ridden as Morrissette's, and her introspective ballads aren't as light or as gossamer as Jewel's. The bottom line is that Payne, who was 19 when this CD came out, is her own person--and she's also someone who has a lot on her mind. The lyrics, all of which the L.A. native wrote or co-wrote, tend to be serious rather than escapist. The riveting "It's Not The Time" finds a young woman facing an unplanned pregnancy and weighing her options, while "Hollywood" finds a recent Tinseltown arrival coping with life on Hollywood's potentially dangerous streets. On the poignant ballad "Fatherless At 14," Payne portrays a father who has died unexpectedly and, in the afterlife, is missing the teen-age daughter he left behind. This promising debut album makes it clear that Payne is an artist of substance.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson