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Phoenix Stone

Phoenix Stone

(Universal)

This 23-year-old Florida native is the latest in redundant pop stars hoping to ride the wave of hot shots like the Backstreet Boys and ‘NSync. He’s got the look, and he sounds just like those two boy bands that are all to commonly seen across every television show and magazine and heard on every Top 40 radio station.


But don’t expect to see Stone plastered in every form of multimedia advertisement and coverage any time soon. On his self-titled debut, the aspiring star lacks passion and powerful vocal range, leaving him to be just another new kid on the block. Stone had his time in the television limelight, like when he was a regular on Nickelodeon’s comedy Welcome Freshman.


Lyrically the project leaves one to wonder if Stone is still a freshman himself! Take the pathetic chorus of “Kiss” in which he belts out “I want your kiss, here on my lips. Baby all in all it’s perfect bliss”. Perhaps he’ll appeal to a few pre-teenagers, but even at that age music fans should be able to see through Stone’s lack of creativity.


That’s not to say that Universal didn’t attempt to assemble an all star support cast for this newcomer. The production lineup is excellent, including Narada Michael Walden, who worked with Stone on “To Be Loved By You”, and Keith Thomas, whose also worked with 98 Degrees, Brian McKnight, and Vanessa Williams.


Those styled influences for Stone shine through on tracks like the McKnight or Boyz II Men styled “Nobody Loves Me Like You” while “Never Fall in Love Again” sounds like it could have been a 98 Degrees song.


Unfortunately, Stone’s album falls short of standing out in an overly cluttered genre and he’s destined to end up with few copies sold. Those that do move of store shelves are destined to end up in the bins of used CD stores within a year. When will young stars get a clue and add substance and originality to the ever deproving pop scene?

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