The Big Room
Already huge in Eastern Asia, female teen duo M2M look set to crack open the American and European markets with this sophomore effort, released to tie in with their summer US tour supporting Jewel, as well as appearances on Dawson's Creek. Inoffensive and highly competent pop, this album is actually far better than one may suspect, and the girls offer up something as rare as self-penned tracks and solid instrumental ability. While nothing comes close to the irresistibly charming first single "Everything," this album is still full of fine acoustically driven teen pop.
The girls can't help writing anything but immediately catchy pop hits if their lives depended on it, but some of their finest moments are the more subtle material, such as the sweet, almost Crowded House-like "Payphone." A few tracks are less than mediocre -- "What You Do About Me," with its derivative sub-ABBA chorus is one example, and the dreadful "Sometimes" another, and a particularly horrid one at that. All in all, though, M2M have made a surprisingly competent album that should soundtrack young girls' sighing and keep the young boys swooning.
Atlantic Records: http://www.atlantic-records.com