It is true that Aaron Carter's second album is slightly less creepy than his first, simply because his voice has broken and he no longer sounds as much like a child singing about things far beyond his years. Still, the basic approach hasn't really changed, and he's still singing songs that are clearly directed at kids but written with distinctly adolescent, even adult, overtones. Even songs that are meant to be light, frothy love songs are too knowing about sexuality, always hinting at things that young Aaron just shouldn't know about. Then, there's the cut and paste commercialism of the music, as the producers act like magpies, stealing elements from dance-pop, new wave, dancehall, bubblegum, country, Time-Life oldies, putting them together in a way that would please kids and their parents on the surface (oh look! That song samples "Break My Stride"!) but just seems like disturbing pandering upon close inspection. Not to mention crass, a word that doesn't quite seem to apply, even after the deliberate repeated references to the Backstreet Boys (him and that Nick Carter, they're brothers, you know), until the album reaches its conclusion with an unlisted 11th track that is nothing more than young Aaron plugging a forthcoming home video and his songs for the Nickelodeon film Jimmy Neutron, taking the time to mention the release date for both the record and film, helpfully mentioning that the soundtrack includes songs not found on any other album. Gee, thanks for the tip, Aaron.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
feat: No Secrets