Hollywood’s reigning “It” girl is out to prove herself as a singer. In her debut album “Speak,” Lindsay Lohan does more than reiterate familiar themes of young love and teen angst. In “Rumors,” for example, she speaks out against the paparazzi who have stalked her since she became a teen queen.
Lohan co-wrote five of the 11 songs and says she drew on her experiences and journal entries for inspiration. The album will leave fans wanting more, but it’s nice that Lohan refrained from tacking on “filler” songs to make her CD longer. Sometimes “Rumors” is labeled a “bonus track,” but aren’t singles expected to be on the album? This comes off as a crude attempt to make her album seem worth more than it really is. It would also have been nice if “I Decide” (featured on “The Princess Diaries 2” soundtrack) had been included.
Despite a few faults, “Speak” has enough to offer to make it worth one’s time. Its thoughtful lyrics are a refreshing change from recent offerings by Lohan’s peers. All the songs have catchy melodies, but what is truly impressive is the album’s variety. From the techno “Speak” to the dance anthem “Rumors” to the hip-hop “To Know Your Name,” this CD aims to please.
Lohan comes off as more mature than rival Hilary Duff (who sounds like a whiny schoolgirl on helium) and less off-key than Ashlee Simpson. However, the instrumentals consistently drown her out and the songs don’t challenge her as a singer. Lohan simply doesn’t have enough of a presence. If Lohan wants to be taken seriously as a singer, she must be able to do more than just speak.
Still, the pop hits of today don’t have much substance either, and for that Lohan’s album is recommended to those wanting something fresh. She still has room to develop as a singer, but her songwriting skills are already impressive. Frankly, it doesn’t matter whether she can sing or not. The music industry is plagued by teen girls trying to pass themselves off as singers; for her first attempt, Lohan does a pretty good job. “Speak” is a joy to listen to from beginning to end. .
Review by Vincent Cheng, Wichita, KS
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.