Title - 'So Uncool' (Atlantic)
Artist - Keke Palmer
Fourteen-year-old Keke Palmer (née Lauren Palmer) had her breakout role as the title character in 2006's Akeelah and the Bee. She was nominated for numerous awards and was immediately added to the list of young talents to look out for. She made a song, "All My Girlz," for the soundtrack and only about a year later, she is here with her debut album.
The most important thing for a young artist to do while recording an album is to be aware of their audience, and Keke does this very well. She aims to mainly please the young girls and never strays away, with subject matter ranging from first crushes to being self-conscious to a boyfriend too obsessed with video games. Vocally, she is actually quite good. She remains laid-back and never oversings.
Musically, the album is primarily composed of slickly-produced, upbeat contemporary R&B/pop infused tracks. "Keep It Movin'," the first single, is a cool and breezy summer jam that came out a month too late. "Music Box" is a touching ballad of how music blocks out the pain and problems of life. "Footwurkin'" is a thumpin' dance groove; the same applies to the crunk-alicious highlight track, "Bottoms Up," where she takes a stab at rapping. "Hood Anthem" tells kids to not be ashamed of where they came from. This closing track will have everyone singing along.
There are, of course, some lyrical missteps, the "crush" songs are a bit sappy and one or two songs just aren't all too compelling. Overall, though, So Uncool is a genuine and great album for kids and adults alike; the songs are catchy, relatable and the messages are age-appropriate.