Stevie Brock

Stevie Brock

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Stevie Brock is a dimpled and diminutive performer hoping to fleece a little mojo from fellow boy wonder pop star Aaron Carter. All of 12 at the time of this recording, Brock breaks out of the gate strong with opener "If U Be My Baby." However, his prepubescent voice is soon lost in layers of production trickery and clunky synth arrangements -- there's little in either the originals or numerous covers filling out his debut to actually define the Stevie behind the music. It's one thing to cater to a child audience with bright hooks, chorus repetition, and Brock's boy-next-door looks. But the album can't offer anything more than a flat, rote copy of what's already been done (many times over), and that kind of plastic shill should be insulting to any age group. Stevie Brock is also tarnished by the creepy encroachment of adult themes into younger and younger music. The bland dance-pop ditty "Shut Me Down" features lines like "You're playin' me all the time/Makin' me lose my mind," as well as a guest "rap" by Brianna of fellow WIRE sugar pop act Triple Image. Brianna's spazzy bit mixes blatant materialism with wishes like "I wanna stay up late! Until after ten!" before warning poor Brock that she'll drop him like a bad fashion trend if he doesn't provide. What? It's crassly suggestive and annoyingly commercialistic, but it's mostly just ridiculous. Brianna can't rap and Brock sounds like a little kid singing along with Justin Timberlake lyrics he can't comprehend. The album closes with three covers. Barring Brock's annoying spoken breakdown (what's with the urban accent?), Color Me Badd's "All for Love" fares best. It's at least as bouncy as the original, and just as fun in a flimsy, nonsensical way. As for the rest of the remakes, if you've ever wondered how Chicago's adult contemporary classic "You're the Inspiration" would sound as interpreted by a pint-sized kid, or you've been clamoring for a new version of Milli Vanilli's "Girl You Know It's True," then by all means pick up a copy of Stevie Brock.

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