Another small confession. Among my multiple personalities is an old-fashioned square. You know, a guy who would have been just as happy if rock and roll had never happened. Someone who likes show tunes and jazz-era pop.
A couple of months back, I caught a music video on Bravo. Or, rather, I was caught by the sound of an old Gershwin tune being sung by someone with a gorgeous voice, and wandered over by the television to catch the tune. "Someone to Watch Over Me" was a little slower than I'd have played it, but certainly engaging.
"Too engaging," I thought when I saw who was doing the singing. A young redhead, alone with a microphone in a large studio setting, looking far too seductive for her obvious youth and singing with a voice that did little to lessen the seduction. Trust me, to someone who looks like me, the line "he may not be the man some girls think of as handsome, but to my heart he carries the key", delivered in a particular way, can evoke some pretty deep feelings, and I was rather taken aback by the disjoint between what I was hearing and feeling and what I was seeing. As the video went on and the camera angles changed, I thought she looked a little like a kid I'd spotted on a sitcom once, but that would have been impossible -- the girl I was thinking of was barely into her teens.
As it turns out, it wasn't impossible. Renee Olstead is both the difficult teevee daughter and the gorgeous voice. If you haven't heard her, go to the site and give a listen. In what I think is an absolutely amazing touch, her entire album will play at a pretty decent quality in Flash.
I don't agree with the treatment in all of the songs. The duet in "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" was a mistake from my perspective, and the break in "Sentimental Journey" could have used a little more restraint, but there is no doubt that this kid has a substantial and subtle voice. It's a mightily refreshing change from the canned "music" one usually hears from child stars who feel entitled to a recording career. No partial nudity or sexually suggestive choreography is required to make the listener hear that the girl has more than a little talent.