Gina G. may want to be Madonna, but her admiration for the queen of dance-pop is so unabashed and affectionate, it's hard not to be suckered into her debut, Fresh. From its self-consciously controversial cover art, featuring Gina smeared in chocolate, to its relentless barrage of bouncy, up-tempo dance-pop, Fresh is an homage to early Madonna, and while it doesn't quite have the same level of songcraft as "Holiday" or "Borderline," it is undeniably infectious. The hit single "Oooh Ah ... Just a Little Bit" is a lightweight piece of fluff that nevertheless sticks in your head -- it's a great guilty pleasure, as is the rest of the album. Though it hearkens back to the mid-'80s, its bright, cheery, and unabashedly lightweight pop made Fresh sound fresh in the late '90s.
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine