Kristine W.


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Recorded over four years, dance queen Kristine W's sophomore album is a strong mix of pop and A/C-flavored R&B. What's funny, though, is that the stronger material is not the club music for which she is known. The dance cuts on this album are standard at best. Of course, they aren't so much for pop fans as they are for club crawlers who'll purchase remixes, so that doesn't necessarily alienate dance fans, but they still bring the album down a bit. On the plus side, the rest of Stronger is solid and her voice, thankfully not the little-girl voice so many dance artists have, sounds like a woman's. She almost has a bit of the vocal depth of Cher, which is good or bad, depending on your take. "If Only You Knew" is a good pop concoction, bright and sunny and happy, though its sixth-grade lyrics (You're my every wish/you're my dream come true) bring it down a notch. "Pieces of Me and You" is romantic with an insistent beat, and the tropical "Clubland" has horns, a salsa sound, and a bit of scat thrown in for good measure. "Never Been Kissed" offers up disco synths with seamless '90s production; the smooth, jazzy "Waters Run Deep" is great '70s A/C-R&B with nice vocals; and "All That Glitters" is a nice synth-driven ballad that is surprisingly not overproduced, as so many ballads by dance artists are. Co-writer of eight of the cuts and co-executive producer of the entire album, Kristine W shows she's not some producer's puppet, and Stronger augurs the possibility of a lengthy career.

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