Reviews

The Veronicas

Girl groups always seem to have a knack for attracting attention, although sometimes the reasons could be considered suspect. Looks often have a lot to do with it, and it says something about our sexist society that women with a musical pedigree don't always make an impression based on ability alone. The Veronicas aren't likely to change that tradition; twenty-year-old Aussies Jess and Lisa Origliasso up the ante and double their distinction by virtue of the fact that they are beautiful and identical twins. Nevertheless their competence provides some measure of credibility. For example, the girls appear to have had a hand in writing nearly every tune on their debut disc, and the songs, if not exactly revelatory, are at least catchy and engaging enough to merit repeated listens. Granted they had some assists: Veteran tunesmith Billy Steinberg is listed as one of the writers, and production credits include the same names found behind the boards for Britney Spears, Kelly Clarkson, and Linkin Park. So it's no surprise there's a generic, radio-ready flavor to the album overall. "When It All Falls" sounds a lot like Aimee Mann, "Secret" suggests the Go-Go's, and "Leave Me Alone" emulates every recent radio darling from Spears to Clarkson to Natalie Imbruglia. If following the formula is all it takes to earn a pop pedigree, the Veronicas are already well on their way.

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Lee Zimmerman