in front of their eyes, week after week?
you're going to use a formula to "make a band," it might
as well be blatant. As opposed to disguising a prefab group of
teens like Dream as "Puffy's latest discovery" or
positioning any number of Mouseketeer rejects as the
second-coming-of-Britney, why not simply let the world watch as a
group is hand-selected and molded into a musical phenomenon
is the premise behind such programs as ABC's "Making of the
Band", which spawned the painful O-Town, and the WB's
"Popstars." While O-Town centered around a group of
boys with ambiguous sexualities, "Popstars" let us watch as
a pool of hotties crooning "I Will Always Love You" was
systematically pared down. The end result? Quintet
"Eden's Crush", which resembles an even lighter-skinned
Destiny's Child - give or take an expelled member or two.
boded well for the group as "Get Over Yourself," the first
single, exploded onto the charts. Eden's Crush made history as
the first pop group to have a debut single open atop the sales
chart. Additionally, their first chart appearance on
"Billboard's Hot 100" was an impressive #8 - the second
highest debut of the last five years (behind Garth Brooks/ "Chris
Gaines"'s "Close to You").
seemed the formula was working. However, with the May 1 debut
of "Popstars," the full-length album, it became suddenly
apparent that somewhere along the way, the formula went drastically
awry. To figure it out, let's look at it piece-by-piece.
the girls can sing, too, because we watched them belt out song after
song to get plucked from a sea of hopefuls.
know the girls are hot. One look tells you that,
girl-for-girl, Nicole, Ana Maria, Ivette, Maile, and Rosanna more
than hold their own. In fact, Eden's Crush is among the most
photogenic acts in the market today. (Rosanna and Ana Maria, in
particular, could be models with no problem.) We
problem with Eden's Crush instead is the one thing that's even more
formulaic than the group's selection process - the writing! Of
the 12 tracks (13 if you count the hidden one, the ballad
"Promise Me", which proves among the best), the vast
majority sound as if they were passed over by the Britneys and
Christinas and even second-stringers like Mandy and Jessica.
on a disc isn't uncommon, but entire discs of it rarely sells - and
that's a conundrum Eden's Crush isn't going to overcome. After
repeated listens, tracks like "Let Me Know" and "No
Drama" verge on enjoyable - but are still easily
forgettable. Few tracks contain a memorable, infectious hook -
the part of a song everyone should remember. Even "Get
Over Yourself," which stands to become the group's single hit,
never fully implants itself in the listener's brain.
Know I Can" -- quite reminiscent of The Spice Girls at their
most popular and outright popish - bridges beyond disposable.
Disc-opener "What's Good 4 the Goose," which has a strong,
enjoyable beat, suffers from frustratingly simplistic lyrics.
standout track, and most likely to make inroads at radio and with
fans, is the group's respectable, straight-forward cover of Sheila
E's smash hit "Glamorous Life." Tapping into the '80s
is hot right now, and this song is primed and ready for summer. Older
fans will remember and appreciate it as nostalgia; younger fans can
discover it for the very first time. Hopefully programmers will give
this knock-off group a chance.
a sad statement when the freshest sounding cut from a new artist is
a remake. However, where Eden's Crush is concerned, that's
undeniably the case.
for "Popstars II," the inevitable sequel, finalists from a
group of prospective writers can contribute the songs. They
certainly couldn't sound more blasé or worn. Whatever
the case, next time the WB takes the time to assemble a group of
talented, beautiful women, they should make sure they're given better
material to work with after-the-fact.
purchase this CD