Sarah Connor

Sarah Connor

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After three albums and official pop stardom in her native Germany, Sarah Connor planned a U.S. takeover with this domestic-specific effort. Sarah Connor culls material from her European output, focusing principally on past hit singles. The singsongy flow and Connor's own Christina Aguilera-ish sass are pretty irresistible on "Bounce," which does exactly that, relentlessly. Of course, it helps itself to the disco bump rhythm track from Mary J. Blige's "Family Affair," so it would be difficult for "Bounce" not to succeed. The rest of Sarah Connor proves as recycle-happy as its lead single, but it's also well-crafted and steamy. The slinky "French Kissing" cops the piano break from Blackstreet's "No Diggity"; "Let's Get Back to Bed - Boy!" is assembled Europop, right down to its digitized vocal and mindless lovey-dovey lyrics easily translatable to dancefloors the world over. Wyclef Jean chats over his own mildly adventurous production on "One Nite Stand (Of Wolves and Sheep)" (from 2002's Unbelievable), which finds Sarah doing more of a Britney impersonation than her normal Christina foil, and the album's midsection is padded with the light pop balladry of "Music Is the Key" and "I'm Gonna Find You." Connor's slight accent charms throughout -- it helps identify her, the way it did Robyn, the Swedish tart who made some U.S. noise in 1997 with the contemporary R&B grit of "Do You Know (What It Takes)." It also helps sell the well-intentioned yet totally sappy "Love Is Color Blind," as well as a busy late-album cover of the Mary Jane Girls' "In My House." Like most of Sarah Connor, the tracks work because they're qualified by their Europop context. Like the brightest of that genre, they shine like flashy and disposable glowsticks before ultimately terminating.

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