Inner Child

It had to happen — a pop singer discovers the rudiments of pop psychology, and sings a strenuously uplifting sermon, exhorting us to ”keep your inner child alive.” We don’t mean to be rude, but that’s easy for L.A.’s Shanice Wilson to do: She turned all of 18 while making her debut album. Therapeutic buzzwords aside, Inner Child has few surprises and fewer pleasures. Shanice has a light, girlish voice that sounds cute enough during the fast bits — up-tempo dance numbers and baby-tough rap breaks — and even earnest on the dance anthem ”Peace in the World.” She isn’t any more impressive, though, than any genuinely talented Star Search contestant, and the slick, forgettable material gives her no reason to be. Between its serviceably giddy hip-hop, weepy songs of lost love, and guest stars (Branford Marsalis, Johnny Gill), Inner Child seems to be trying hard to be a hit. But it doesn’t necessarily want to entertain us. Its true philosophy might as well be: Take your inner child, put her behind a mike, and start counting your money. C-

Inner Child
  • Music