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Vitamin C's Second Outing Could Use Something More

January 30, 2001|NATALIE NICHOLS

* 1/2 VITAMIN C

"More"

Elektra

It's easy to dismiss Vitamin C as more opportunist than artist. After all, not too long ago she was venting major-label-approved angst as Colleen Fitzpatrick, singer of the alt-rock bandwagon band Eve's Plum. Yet her million-plus-selling 1999 Vitamin C debut album, not to mention a slew of TV, magazine and movie appearances, proved that her new, more positive persona was much more marketable.

Might as well go with the flow, then, which is what Vitamin C's sophomore collection (due in stores today) is all about. Over a burbling, au courant mix of electronic beats and effects, smatterings of crunchy guitar and light hip-hop and R&B, she serves up predictable variations on the plug-'n'-play pop-singer themes, as viewed through the good-time-girl filter. Although she sings credibly enough, most of these tunes about getting down ("Where's the Party?"), immature lovers ("Real Life") and, of course, needing satisfaction ("The Itch") are as blandly advertising-ready as her earlier hit, "Smile."

What is ever so slightly frustrating is that Vitamin C musters some conviction for the urgent "Sex Has Come Between Us," which laments a friendship turned carnal, and the wistful, resigned ballad "That Was Then, This Is Now." Still, anything appealing about Vitamin C is ultimately undermined by the sense that "More" is just another leg of the campaign to make her a commodity.

*

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent). The albums are already released unless otherwise noted.

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