Seven Sisters

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Not released in the U.S. until early 1999, Meja's Seven Sisters had already become a hit in Japan and her native Sweden. The music is mellow yet often danceable contemporary pop/rock with R&B and jazz inflections, slick production, and a perky, upbeat tone, a sound perfect for international consumption. Although Meja has a fairly supple voice, the lyrics are not quite up to the same level, ranging from simplistic, clich├ęd rhymes to mawkish sentimentality to awkward attempts at poetry. Take Seven Sisters for what it is at heart -- sunny, catchy bubblegum pop -- and the attempts at substance might actually become endearing, especially on guilty pleasures as strong as the jazzy pop tunes "Beautiful Girl" and "Caught Up in the Middle," which have bossa nova and jazz-rock fusion overtones, respectively, as well as charming Bacharach-ian horn arrangements.

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