WHAT'S a starlet to do? Several hit films, the undying affection of the paparazzi and a million-selling debut album last year are evidently not enough for Lohan. With her sophomore album, she wants to matter.
So how do you take it to the next level? For the true artist, there's only one way: hunker down for some serious soul-searching, then hire someone to write you songs with titles such as "A Little More Personal" and "If You Were Me."
OK, even if she didn't write all 12 songs she chose for her second album (in stores today), Lohan obviously must have felt some connection with them. As a 19-year-old multiplatform star, she's got to be feeling a lot of pressure and needs to vent, as in "Confessions of a Broken Heart" (which she did write, with Kara DioGuardi and Greg Wells). In that song, she reaches out to her wayward father for the love she's so desperately missing, and some real hurt bleeds through. But for most of the album, she sounds like any other self-absorbed teen, yearning to be Alanis, Gwen and even Stevie Nicks.
In the best track, "Fastlane," she stops working so hard to show she can out-grimace Avril Lavigne and goes back to basics. It's more noteworthy for its bouncy rhythm and catchy melody than its "lonely at the top" message, but that's more credible than the damaged-soul character in "Black Hole," sorting through old love letters: "I even got a paper cut / Trying to figure out / What to do with all these memories."