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Hogan doesn’t do best in bubblegum debut

Courtney Wilson | Monday, November 13, 2006

In its third season, VH1 reality show “Hogan Knows Best” follows the life of wrestling superstar Hulk Hogan and family. Relocating to Miami, the new season tracks the life of 18-year-old daughter Brooke and the four-month recording process leading up to her debut album.

While Hulk is hard on his baby girl, the entire family appears whole-heartedly involved in promoting Brooke’s singing aspirations. Critics will, of course, discredit the show as an attempt to launch a fresh Hogan career, but without it, Brooke’s talent — however underdeveloped — might never have been recognized. However, famous daddy’s girls don’t always come out on top, and “Undiscovered” is demonstrated proof of this.

As the first artist to sign with Storch Music Company (SMC) under the SoBe Entertainment label, it’s expected that it would be to Brooke’s advantage to have an album produced entirely by legendary music producers Scott Storch and KayGee.

“About Us,” the first single released by the songstress, features Houston rap artist Paul Wall. But Wall’s collaboration is only part of the reason this single has been heating up the charts. Coming out with her super shiny and plastic-blonde image on the dance hall-inspired music video may have given the song an extra push.

And like most blondes in the pop music contest, Brooke can’t seem to escape expectations for sexual comedy in her music. With lyrics like “pretty fly for a white girl,” Brooke shows sass on Track 14, “Low Rider Jeans.” Barking and hee-haw noises amid sexually implicit lyrics and voiceovers demanding “more cowbell” are dreadfully reminiscent of Jessica Simpson in her overdone Daisy Duke stage.

But anyone who watches the Hogan family’s reality show knows that Daddy Hulk is strictly opposed to Brooke’s image being over-sexed – and that may be the reason for empty and juvenile songs centered on boys and vanity.

The risqué cover of “Undiscovered” is clearly inconsistent with the music it markets. Sugar-coated pop tunes like “All About Me” (Track 6) and “My Number” (Track 7) seem to stick to some old-school recipe used by former 80s pop princesses rather than a sexy dance hall formula preferred by today’s female artists. Besides “Low Rider Jeans,” the only other song with radio potential has to be the hip-hop inspired song “Incognito” (Track 13).

Brooke does lend her writing talent to a couple songs on the album, including Track 8, “A Beautiful Transformation,” in which she sings about her evolution into womanhood. The song has a light-hearted charm, which is at least dimly appealing.

Track 2, “Heaven Baby,” is decent, even if its Gwen Stefani, reggae-inspired beats are completely at odds with the rest of the album. So while Brooke may have scored the cover of “FHM” men’s magazine as publicity for her matured new image, her songs show a bizarre contradiction.

The album may appeal to a teenybopper audience, but it will likely leave a young-adult listener extremely unenthused. Maybe “About Us” and its hip-hop inspiration were just a teaser, because “Undiscovered” is predominantly a compilation of songs best left to a 13-year-old sibling – or for play at the local skate rink. The album offers a few good listens, but ultimately disappoints with its inconsistent sounds and lack of maturity.