Album Review: Kristinia DeBarge - 'Exposed' - Celebrity Bug


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Album Review: Kristinia DeBarge - 'Exposed'

The age old sayings “it runs in the family” and “the apple don’t fall far from the tree” prove to be true with Kristinia DeBarge, who followed in the footsteps of her musical father James DeBarge (keyboardist and founding member of '80s group DeBarge) when she released her debut album in late July.

Filled with poppy gems and duds, the songstress intertwines that with a slightly R&B flare, under the supervision of legendary hit-maker Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds and rising producers Ryan Tedder and Evan "Kidd" Bogart.

On the bouncy “Somebody”, she picks up the pieces and finally lives in the joy of being loved by somebody, while on “Future Love” she dreams of finding the one and manages to put her own stamp on Varsity Fanclub’s 2008 song. Aside from that, she effectively loses the cluttered feel that lies within their version, and goes for a softer approach that actually allows you to properly soak in the words of the track co-written and produced by Ryan Tedder.

“Goodbye”, which served as the album’s lead single, landed the star her first Top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, as the track peaked at No.15. The track samples the popular 1969 song by Steam, “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye,” and while the song itself was run of the mill, it did offer a nice introduction to the star.

On the catchy “Sabotage”, her inner bad girl finally breaks free and takes control, and this is a track that if slightly enhanced or modified, could easily fit into the mold that Rihanna has crafted for herself.

She wants you to open up and let her know how you feel on “Speak Up”, which is another Ryan Tedder-cut, she sees the destruction of her relationship on “Died In Your Eyes”, she lets it go on “Powerless”, and refuses to make amends on “Cried Me A River”. It’s quite interesting how these few songs play out like a storied break-up from the failure to communicate, realizing he’s no there emotionally, shutting down the relationship that drained you, and him finally realizing he let a good thing go.

“Doesn’t Everybody Want To Fall In Love”, “It’s Gotta Be Love” and “Disconnect”, effectively bring the album to a nice finish with some solid vocals from Ms. DeBarge.

Overall, the album is enjoyable and she does a nice job of staying within the realms of her age. With that said, the biggest flaw is her inability to evoke personality and sell the material with her voice. She climbs that mountain a few times (mostly towards the end), but she rarely stays atop and that in unison with the lack of a “must-have song”, quickly makes her entrance forgettable.

3 out of 5

Celebrity Bug’s Key Tracks: “Future Love”, “Died In Your Eyes”, “Powerless”, “Sabotage”, “It’s Gotta Be Love” & “Disconnect”.

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