Almost Famous

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It shouldn't be a surprise that Lumidee's Almost Famous sounds rushed and unfinished. Surely Universal accelerated its release to capitalize on "Never Leave You (Uh Oooh, Uh Oooh)"'s success before its short shelf life expired or it had been downloaded by the target audience in total. With a contagious call-out hook and naive lyrics, "Never Leave You" is a fantastic summer single, and Lumidee's off-key singing agrees with most teens' own ability. The track appears twice, once in a single remix featuring Busta Rhymes and Fabolous. Lumidee claimed she sounds off-key because she recorded the song to a different backing track, but her thin voice is evident throughout the album. Her worst offense appears on "Suppose to Do," a trite "interpolation" of the "Theme From Mahogany." Otherwise, Almost Famous is simply so-so R&B that never recalls the single's appeal but is not the disaster that albums surrounding fluke hits can turn into. The subject matter dwells on boys' inability to be trustworthy repeatedly, and guest rappers add nothing but fluff, but it's no catastrophe. If Lumidee and producer DJ Tedsmooth were allowed time to develop their talents, Almost Famous might have turned out a lot less forgettable and more appealing to listeners past their teens. [Parents should be aware of the album's odd attitude toward editing. Drug references are edited out but the dreaded s word makes it through loud and clear. Uh oooh!]

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