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ALBUM REVIEW: Karina Pasian – First Love

At 17, Karina Pasian is the latest in a line of young, soulful girls molded in the Alicia Keys pattern and unleashed on the Pop/R&B market with the typical tools. Piano virtuoso? Check. Legendary backing? Check (in the form of godfather of Quincy Jones). Amazing debut album? Eh…Karina does have talent, and while little on her debut First Love stands out, it isn’t a bad test-run for the new face. She tries on a few different outfits, starting with the sexy, auto-tuned dance number (“90’s Baby”) and then moving to sweet Piano-Pop (“Can’t Find the Words”). She handles both sides believably enough and makes a solid vocal presentation, but she doesn’t succeed at making any of the tracks her own.The emotional and mature title track stands at a sharp contrast to a single like “16 @ War,” clearly aimed directly at the Top 40 crowd. Both get the job done on their own, but as a whole, it’s hard to get a picture of who Karina is supposed to be since she doesn’t seem to have decided herself.Given her youth, Karina’s musical identity crisis is understandable, and it’s still entirely possible that she’ll go on to do big things. If she does though, First Love will probably be more of a footnote in her career. Feel free to give it a listen to say you did, but a single spin is probably all it’ll take to get the full picture. Nevertheless, not bad for a first attempt. 16 @ War – Karina Pasian

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