If Sean Kingston weren't 17, baby-faced, and blessed with a voice like Akon's but sweeter, "Beautiful Girls"--the airwave-dominating, maniacally catchy ditty off his debut album that finds him wallowing over a long line of babes bent on dumping him--might have bombed. It's the package that makes the song, and the many others like it on this destined-for-hugeness disc, work: Take away the youthful pout and the song's innocence dissolves. Take away the lively straight-outta-Jamaica lilt and its summery vibe suffers mightily. Thrown back in, though, these elements bond like KrazyGlue; tracks like "Me Love," which fiddles with Led Zeppelin's "D'yer Mak'er" in a looser way than "Beautiful Girls" fiddles with Ben E. King's "Stand By Me," adhere forcefully but playfully to the same part of the brain that Rihanna had been reigning over till now. Still, Sean Kingston's
strongest track may be its standout duet--"There's Nothin'," with Paula DeAnda doing her best junior Mariah impression, chugs along as though it's been doused in August sunshine. It'll make a fan out of anybody. --Tammy La Gorce
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.