Age-appropriate pop-R&B albums fronted by teenagers are few and far between. The first album from Akeelah and the Bee star Keke Palmer is one of the few, and it also benefits from not functioning as the joyless and sugar-free version of what's played on the radio and seen on TV. While a good deal of the credit goes to the assortment of high-level songwriters and producers who collaborated with Palmer -- including the Clutch, Rodney Jerkins, Anthony Dent, and J.R. Rotem -- the album wouldn't be much without Palmer. She's wise beyond her years while acting her age, and she sounds equally comfortable in each of these songs, whether she's dealing with realistic relationship issues, self-worth, escaping harsh realities through music, or being proud of your background while fighting against its misconceptions. Unless your barometer for cool is Pretty Ricky, none of it will seem corny. The biggest highlight is "The Game Song," a playfully dramatic track where Palmer bemoans her boyfriend's diverted attention: "It's like I wasn't even in the room/He was all up in that tic-tic-boom/How you gonna worry 'bout first and ten?/All I'm saying, you really should've put this ten first"; "Smash the controller/Game over."
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AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman
feat: Big Meech