A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the four-letter words on this album seem gratuitous; could they possibly have been contrived for the purpose of earning a Parental Advisory sticker? In this case, they add nothing but jarring counterpoint to the artist's baby-doll voice.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Brooke Valentine's voice evokes a young Diana Ross without the benefit of a brilliant producer's (Berry Gordy's) clear aesthetic vision. CHAIN LETTER is musically all over the place. What may be meant to come across as versatility ends up sounding like a mish-mash of styles performed by a talented young woman in dire need of some thoughtful production. The musical high points also happen to be the bits that will make parents cringe the most: cameos by Li'l Jon and Big Boi from Outkast; the songs \"Girlfight\" (infectious and danceable) and \"I Want You Dead\" (let's be honest -- we've all felt that way at times). But there just aren't enough high points, nor enough consistent sound or vision, to make this a great album.
Is it any good?
Brooke Valentine's voice, unfortunately, isn't nearly as versatile as her wide swath of musical choices, and as a result some songs are far more successful than others. Even worse, most of the tracks suffer from tediously uninspired arrangements. The artist's breathy, baby-doll voice is pretty, but not forceful enough to make up for a whole lot of insipid instrumentation.