Positively Somewhere

Jennifer Paige

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Positively Somewhere Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

With Crush, Jennifer Paige had one of the great singles of the '90s -- a single that arrived just a little too early for the teen pop explosion, yet it was so well-written, and delivered with such assurance by her, that it would have caused a sensation if it had appeared after Britney. On that song, Paige illustrated that she already had the chops of a Christina Aguilera but, better than that, she knew how to use them, and thereby sounded more mature than any of her peers. Unfortunately, she sat out almost all of the teen pop boom, coming back in late 2001 with her second album, Positively Somewhere. By that point, the air had started to leak out of the teen balloon, and it was hard for second-tier stars like Jessica Simpson to get heard, let alone somebody like Paige, who was never part of the scene. Doubly unfortunately, with Positively Somewhere she recorded an album that could only be seen as a teen pop album, lacking many of the mature overtones of her debut. She still sounds great -- rich, mature, and controlled beyond her years -- but the songs aren't as fully realized as the debut (let alone the superb "Crush") and the production is a little flimsy. It's hardly a disaster, since Paige makes the songs listenable and the music itself is appealingly generic, but there's no hook and no single that makes it stand apart from the pack -- which is unfortunate, since Jennifer Paige herself so clearly does.

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