Yancey Strickler
March 14, 2005 AT 05:00 AM EST

Brooke Valentine’s debut, Chain Letter, plays like Steven Soderbergh’s filmography: There’s a little popcorn for the cineplex and some chewier fare for the art houses. But Valentine’s eccentricities, unlike Soderbergh’s, actually improve her chances for stardom. On ”American Girl,” the 19-year-old shakes her Texan tail feather over a jungle beat, while ”I Wish You Were Dead” is a baroque pop gem. The CD could have added up to her own sex, lies and videotape if not for Lil Jon, whose tired bubble-crunk single ”Girlfight” puts this disc squarely in Solaris territory.

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