B*witched

B*Witched

Epic Records, 1998

http://myspace.com/bwitchedonline

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 04/13/1999

It would be easy to sit back, listen to the debut album from the Irish pop quartet B*Witched, and declare them to be the next generation of the Debbie Gibson-Tiffany-Spice Girls-NKOTB-insert your band here teeny-bop idols.

It would be easy... but it's too damned infectious to just write off as fluff. These four teenagers are onto something in their music, and it's enjoyable for listeners of all ages - even an old curmudgeon like myself.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The young ladies - Sinead, Edele, Keavy and Lindsay - have a firm grasp of rhythm and harmony, meaning two major battles are won early on B*Witched. The third battle is to produce music that doesn't sound like so many synthesizers blaring out prepackaged music. This is the toughest battle, and yet another one they easily win.

From the lead-off single "C'est La Vie" to the cute-bubbly-bounciness of "Rev It Up," or even the bittersweet catchiness of "Blame It On The Weatherman," B*Witched come out of the gate firing on all cylinders, and for the course of the album (which clocks in at under 40 minutes), they keep you interested.

Of course, if you get caught up in reading the lyrics, some things may strike you as a bit banal, and some parents' group is bound to get their dander up at the suggestiveness of some of the lyrics ("I got a house with windows and doors / I'll show you mine if you show me yours" from "C'est La Vie"). But, if The Disney Channel doesn't have a problem with these tracks, then what's the big deal?

Besides, even if I think the lyrics get a little too syrupy at times, I'm more than willing to grant a little leniency towards B*Witched on two counts. First is their age; I highly doubt I would have been writing songs about the stock market at age 16. Why not let them have their fun? Second, this is a debut effort, and the one or two minor wrinkles I hear in the album (songs like "Never Giving Up" and "Freak Out" get a little old), these are all things that are easily ironed out in time.

B*Witched is a surprisingly good album that might shock even the toughest cynic. Who knows? These girls might just shock us by showing some lasting power and staying on the scene for a while. If the music in their future is this good, then they can stay for as long as they want.

Rating: A-

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© 1999 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Epic Records, and is used for informational purposes only.