Ali Lohan

Lohan Holiday

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These days, child stars seem to come successively in families; stage parents, having launched one offspring into the limelight, can't wait to get another one out there and earning money, so that one Culkin is inevitably followed by another, and an untalented Simpson is soon joined by her equally clueless sister. Into this tradition comes 12-year-old Aliana "Ali" Lohan, who is launching her career here by the curious vehicle of a Christmas album. (Aren't children like this supposed to start with a TV series on The Disney Channel or Nickelodeon?) The most curious aspect of the project is that young Lohan's vocal talents, if any, go unrevealed on the disc. It's not that she's a bad singer. It's that you can't tell by listening to the album whether she's a singer at all. Supposedly, recording studio technology has become so advanced that anyone can be made to sound like Caruso with the twist of a dial or (more likely) the click of a mouse. But Chris Christian, whose credits on this album include songwriting, arranging, producing, mixing, remixing, guitar playing, "all instruments" on some tracks, and even art direction, has not taken the route of studio trickery in attempting to turn Ali Lohan into a singing star. He's just turned her microphone down. Way down. Until the choruses of these mediocre songs kick in and one or more of the many credited background singers chimes in, the vocals are barely audible. Maybe that doesn't matter. Maybe what matters is that the CD booklet unfolds into a poster of Lohan suitable for being taped on the walls of America's prepubescents, whose musical taste is notoriously undiscerning. But then, wasn't it an innocent little boy who looked at the emperor and said he wasn't wearing any clothes?

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