Louise Goffin

Kid Blue

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Louise Goffin's debut suffered by unfair comparison to her mother Carole King's work. "Not as good as Tapestry" was the lazy, myopic verdict, and the album failed to take off. What no one thought to point out was that Goffin was 16 at the time, while King made Tapestry in her late twenties. A more sensible comparison could have been drawn by measuring Kid Blue against King's first recording Baby Sittin', made when she was 16. By that score, Kid Blue is a commendable effort; Goffin's lyrical concerns -- apart from the teen bluster of "Jimmy and the Tough Kids" -- are far more ambitious than King's adolescent Brill Building records, and both Goffin, on vocals, piano, and guitar, and her band turn in sophisticated, polished performances. True, the songs (mostly written or co-written by Goffin) are good, rather than brilliant. Most mine a crunchy guitar rock vein ("Red Lite Fever," "Kid Blue"), although there are some interesting surprises, particularly the Shangri-las cover "Remember (Walking in the Sand") and the delightfully tuneful "Singing Out Alone." Goffin's adolescent voice is an acquired taste, sometimes obnoxiously nasal. But, like Janis Ian before her, and even Debbie Gibson after, Goffin was a teenager with a genuine interest in music, performance, and composition. And in teen pop, a genre that throughout its history has been about marketing trite sexual fantasies (i.e., Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Mandy Moore), Goffin was at the very least a true artist.

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