Album Reviews: Little More Personal (Raw) by Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan has stripped herself nearly bare for the cover of A Little More Personal (Raw), and, with that title, she promises to expose herself inside as well as out. But the real revelation on Lohan's second album is that she's much more comfortable with arena-sized pop rock than with tepid TRL ballads or faceless club songs, although there are returns to each of these unfortunate territories.
Nobody is calling Lohan anti-establishment, but she does seem to have thrown her label a teeny bit of a curveball with lead single, "Confessions of a Broken Heart (Daughter to Father)." It's a driving, (melo)dramatic piece with a super-serious piano line, a discordant chorus, and a bridge to nowhere. A message in a bottle to her famously adrift father, it's the one song that plainly lives up to the album title, and Lohan sings herself raw. While other songs may have listeners reaching for their Kelly Clarkson albums (Clarkson currently being the undisputed queen of this genre), "Confessions…" has a live wire aspect that makes it stand out. Lohan sells it, lyrical inanity and breathy outro and all. Somewhere around the tenth pleading, broken-up cry of "Daughter to father!" the song becomes, for those capable of appreciating such things, strangely awesome.
But most of the rest of the album is the very opposite of Raw: It's overcooked. The late stretch of the album brings the clunky-funk "If You Were Me," the abysmally twee "Fastlane," the Laguna Beach montage-ready "A Beautiful Life (La Bella Vita)," and the anonymous electro-vamp, "Who Loves You."
Oddly -- and unfortunately -- Lohan's disarmingly detailed thank you list goes further to "throw away the casual" (as she requests on the title track) than the ambiguous, cliché-cluttered lyric sheet that precedes it. Musically, she is clearly most adept with the straight-up rock anthem that soundtracks first breakups and first beers and county fairs. Two strong tracks that could have been KO punches in that department, "Black Hole" and "If It's Alright," are marred instead by extraneous production. Did the team behind the boards have a "random effects" button at the ready? Co-producer Kara DioGuardi also shadows Lohan throughout the album as a background vocalist. Next time, Lohan will hopefully lose some of the chaperones -- and get still a little more personal. -- Adam McKibbin
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