Customer Review

11 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Actually, 3.5 (Blind) Stars, but this is a DECENT debut album!, September 3, 2006
This review is from: Paris (Audio CD)
Hmmm, in reading people's reviews of this album, I note many Paris-haters out there. I'm not a tween, teen or gen-x'r either, but rather a 46 year old musician, composer and producer. Paris has been a guilty pleasure for me since I first caught `The Simple Life'. Sue me, but I find it hysterical and have purchased all three seasons of it on DVD - campy and purposely outrageous, and just plain makes me laugh.

Say what you want about being rich and spoiled, and discuss the size of her inheritance; but Ms. Paris has been earning her own way for years and I doubt she has even made a dent in her inheritance - she has her own fragrances, designs her own line of handbags, clothing and jewelry. The Simple Life is a product of her own production company. Even the notorious sex tape, she didn't freak or try to squash it, she petitioned for a share of the profits. That's what I call making lemonade when life deals you lemons, and it also reminds me of a young Madonna: SAVVY. Ms. Paris has also made a couple of movies and now - an album.

She may be rich and entitled but give her, her due: she's forged her own way. I note a couple of reviewers surmised her money bought her the recording contract. The CD lists the album being released on "Heiress Records" and Warner Brothers. Heiress is obviously her own label and I would imagine Warner's is distributing. I can guarantee you that her money bought her the various producers, which is a fact of the biz - production time costs money. While I may be a bit confused by her choice of certain producers, [Scott Storch? groan...] this is HER project and HER choices. But hey, enough about the generalities of Ms. Paris - Let's discuss this album.

Her voice: no, it's not strong, nor does she have an inimitable style or great command of that instrument. But neither did Madonna when she began yet through extensive vocal training - developed quite an instrument through each album. Paris has a very pleasant voice - airy, wispy, and perfectly suited to pop music. I'd have to say that generally, this album is pop, and works best when she is covering the pop genre. The attempts by Scott Storch to have Ms. Hilton cover R&B pop styles such as "Turn It Up" [which has rather cool remixes but the album version leaves me flat] and "Fighting Over Me" featuring Fat Joe and Judakiss simply don't work. Rappers working a song with Paris cooing in the background takes away rather than adds to this project in my own humble opinion.

I have read reviews here about her voice being processed, synthesized, corrected, masked, and a bevy of other accusations. Being a producer and from a production standpoint, I can tell you that her various producers have used very limited digital reverb and digital delay on her voice - mostly for nuance rather than masking. Granted there are a couple of songs that have utilized a harmonizer, and I can hear electronic pitch correction on two songs, but outside of that - that airy, breathy voice you hear, is the real Paris. As I mentioned, the straight Pop songs work best; "Stars Are Blind" with its pop/reggae/ska beats and influences is a strong single and brings to mind Gwen Stefani in a few places. Likewise, the down tempo "Heartbeat" recalls Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" stylistically. The cuts I think are the strongest are "Heartbeat", "Nothing In This World", "Screwed", "Not Leaving Without You". On these, I felt her vocal style was similar to Hoku, and just plain WORKS. Also a very interesting cut is the down tempo "Jealousy", which is an obvious nod to Nicole Ritchey. This is the song I can hear a few instances of pitch correction on, but it is still a good song and is not anything like `rap wars', she intones "I hope we can get back what we had" and other positives. "Turn You On" is just not a style suited to Paris and became annoying - quickly. Likewise, her version of "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" is an abomination and if her producers were watching out for her, they never would have let her record it, or let it get on the album. If anything, as a bonus cut or `not previously released' on an EP or remix single would have been a better route.

This brings to mind the consistent theme of Ms. Hilton, perpetuating her image, which is mostly, I'm hot, I'm sexy, everyone wants me, blah blah blah. That's great for her image, her tabloid escapades and PR, but truthfully, it really does become a bit tiresome and didn't belong on this record in the quantity you will find it..

With all that said, I think this is a great debut album and she shows promise as a recording artist - I found the record mostly enjoyable and was pleasantly surprised. I would urge Paris to continue to practice, take regular vocal training and she will improve her voice, her voice control and develop her own style record to record - I feel she shows a lot of promise. Begin writing WITH your producers as well, your songs will have more impact when they come from your heart. Not necessarily more 'I'm Hot', 'I'm Sexy', 'Everyone Wants Me', but your journey through your own eyes will make for better songs.

Further, as has been demonstrated by artist after artist - completely reinvent yourself and your style from album to album. Take a lesson from Ms. Ciccone and grow with your artistry. I would suggest that the follow-up album be more club and trance stylings along the lines of a Paul Oakenfold, BT, or William Orbit production. The big mix of producers is fun and provides different sounds and styles but you end up with what I felt was a splintered record.

As a summation, I would tell the haters to concentrate on her money, inheritance, escapades, and what not, but give this album a fair listen before you rip it to shreds. There is a LOT worse music, albums and singers out there with record deals and listening to much of it can make me cringe in a short amount of time. This was not one of those cases. Judge what she's doing and not the image you know. Nuff said.
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