Mariah Carey has had her moments (she certainly seemed to be having one in 2005), but her popularity has unfortunately spawned a generation of less talented divas attempting to meld their faceless, McProcessed pop with ersatz R&B. At first blush newcomer Heather Park seems to fit this mold, with her pretty, rather slight voice bouncing over mild pop/hip-hop arrangements and ethereal lyrics. But fortunately, working with producer/writer/multi-instrumentalist Steve Francis, she has created a number of solid, melodic cuts on her Stush Records debut, Dream In Pictures. Francis's arrangements are right on, too, giving a crisp backdrop to the mostly mid-tempo material. I'm not a big fan of the music being put out by the current generation of pop divas, but you could do a lot worse than songs like Park's "Didn't I," "Is What It Is" and the absolutely infectious first single, "The Life."
By Chris Rizik