All good music artists have their start somewhere. For indie label Invengo Records’ newest solo artist Lauren Mayhew, her newly released self-titled album is that start.

Even though all of the songs are “poppy” and reminiscent of Ashlee Simpson and Avril Lavigne, she has a few shiners that have the potential for commercial success.

Such songs as “Sold,” “He Said She Said” and “Much Better Off,” are exactly the types of songs that will be overplayed by radio stations. My favorite song of hers is a song titled “Blaine Street,” which has a good sound and allows for Lauren to show the size of her lungs.

One of her tracks is a cover of the classic Fleetwood Mac song “Gold Dust Woman.” Mayhew’s version isn’t bad, but she doesn’t come close to matching Stevie Nicks’ original vocals. “She did a well enough job, but it still sounds like every other female singer in the pop music genre,” freshman Brittany Bowman said.

The other songs on the album were average and some sounded almost exactly alike but with different words. “It’s typical American pop of the 21st century – all [the songs] sound the same,” freshman Holly Buehler said.

After a few forced replays, I began to realize that the band seemed to overpower Lauren at times, which made it seem as though she was struggling with her words.

All of the songs have that aura of a provocative teenager attempting to be a mature adult, which is revealed through some of the usual issues dealt with in most pop songs. According to her biography these tracks are new and exciting, which was misleading – I was expecting a bit more from someone who was given so much hype.

As for an audience, I don’t think many on our campus would listen. Her appeal to college students wouldn’t go past her physical attractiveness. Her music would be enjoyed more by younger teenage girls and this demographic would suit her well.

Lauren has the looks and she has a voice, which are essential for a successful career in music.

She has been around the block in acting and has been seen most recently in “American Pie Presents Band Camp,” as well as opposite Hilary Duff in “Raise Your Voice.” As far as television is concerned, she has been on the popular daytime soap opera “Guiding Light,” as well as a few episodes of everyone’s favorite crime series, “CSI: Las Vegas” and “CSI: Miami.”

Mayhew’s musical history includes performances in an all girl group called PYT and has opened for all the usual pop suspects – 98 Degrees, Britney Spears, *NSYNC and more, once again confirming her pop music background.

For being only 20 years-old, this Florida native has done well for herself acting and music wise, showing that she has real talent. Even though she’s not too different from most female pop artists she has a different voice that, with practice and experience, can be used to her advantage.

For her first solo album I commend her and wish her luck, and if you one day decide that you have forgotten everything that happened in junior high and high school and you’d like to live through it again, listen to some Lauren Mayhew.

As for me, all I have to say is thank goodness I’m in college!

Herzog can be reached at jherzog@campustimes.org



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