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    Tue, 03 Aug 2004 13:30:58

    Album Reviews: Cherie by Cherie

    It’s easy to dismiss a singer like Cherie as a Celine clone, a Shania clone, a fill-in-the-blank derivative diva with a nice set of pipes and no style of her own. But her ability to echo so many other belters in a single album may actually be her greatest strength. The self-titled debut from this 19-year-old French prodigy cuts a wide swath across the easy listening/vocal pop landscape, and hits all the right notes along the way.

    Don’t let Cherie’s French connection scare you; every track here, except the vaguely Middle Eastern (by way of Shakira) “Betcha Never,” is pure, all-American pop, and her remarkably clear voice carries not a trace of an accent. Like her obvious influences Celine Dion and Whitney Houston, Cherie’s preferred vehicle is the soaring ballad, and three-hankie numbers like “It’s Your Love” and “My Way Back Home” don’t disappoint. But her powerful alto is equally appealing on harder rocking tracks, which reveal that she has the gutsy, soulful delivery of a Sarah McLachlan or an Alanis Morissette to complement those stunning high notes.

    Musically, Cherie plays it safe; there’s no obvious smash hits and no clunkers, just well-crafted, uplifting tunes that showcase the many strengths of this promising young talent. Cherie the album may or may not take off, but Cherie the singer is clearly destined to soar to great heights. - Andy Hermann

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