Lindsay Pagano

Love & Faith & Inspiration

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Yes, Paul McCartney co-sang with Lindsay Pagano on her remake of his song "So Bad." The two met while recording their respective albums at the former A&M Studios in Hollywood. The press relentlessly gushes about this point, and it's good to just quickly get it out of the way. Now on to 15-year-old Pagano's debut album, Love & Faith & Inspiration, a generally insipid pop album with some occasionally interesting soul and funk influences. All the media hype on Pagano, which practically dubs her a young Aretha Franklin, is somewhat just -- she's got some good chops for a youngin' -- but otherwise very misleading. The singer sounds much like a young Michael Jackson on the sugary first single release "Everything U R," but there's no trace of "The Voice." The pop-dance title track, knowing the artist's young age, makes you feel a bit guilty and unsettled -- her voice is coy, sexy, and breathy on it. But if you can get past this, the song is an okay nod to '80s dance, à la Debbie Deb or Stacey Q. (Pagano's voice, however, is more substantial, although you really hear her youth on those high notes.) "The Voice" finally appears on the easygoing "Cryin' Shame," where she takes a worthy soulful turn. She doesn't overdo it like Christina Aguilera, but you suspect she could if she wanted to. And "So Bad," to be fair, really is deserving of all the positive attention. Pagano nicely holds her own on this ballad, co-sung with McCartney, and it's the album's banner moment. Music must really be in a sad shape if artists such as Lindsay Pagano are get marketed as the next big thing. Yes, she sings well; really well given the right vehicle ("Cryin' Shame" and "So Bad"). But, otherwise, she's just another vocalist with above-average chops, who happens to be 15. It's sad to think her career peak could occur at the ripe old age of 17. Then it's off to the land of CoverGirl commercials. But you have to take opportunity when it knocks.

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