Miranda Cosgrove, "Sparks Fly"

Album Review
3

Full of saccharin-sweet pop riffs and head-bobbing beats that one would expect from a Nickelodeon TV actress, "iCarly" star Miranda Cosgrove's debut album, "Sparks Fly," delivers the total tween package. Production from the Matrix and Espionage, among others, enhances Cosgrove's pretty standard delivery, but some of her lyrics are strangely vague. Over an electro-pop melody on the song "Disgusting" (co-penned by Ke$ha), Cosgrove sings, "It's disgusting how you change me from a bandit to a baby." And the piano-based ballad "Hey You" briefly alludes to the Greek myth of Icarus and Daedalus, while "Shakespeare" name-drops Jeff Buckley (who died in 1997 when Cosgrove was only 4 years old). Elsewhere, paired with upbeat guitars and drum machines on the girl-power anthem "There Will Be Tears," the singer happily belts out about being "the one that got away." Parents will likely tire of it quickly, but "Sparks Fly" will surely be stuck on repeat in minivans across the country. --Erin Clendaniel