If anyone but the barely legal Lindsay Lohan had recorded Speak, people would regard the album as a credible hybrid of panting electro-throb, rocker-chick 'tude, and top-40 ear candy.
But because of her Disney-heavy acting résumé and habitual tabloid appearances, many will consider the disc nothing more than a lame cash-in, hastily thrown off to capitalize on her Hollywood notoriety. And in some cases, Speak does sound just this half-baked -- especially the Liz Phair-style "Symptoms of You," which features painful attempts at lyrical wit ("There's a left kind of right/There's a blind kind of sight/Looking at you").
Still, the disc contains some true keepers. "Rumors" is the type of gay-disco dance-floor seduction that Britney Spears used to create; the '80s-style electropop of "To Know Your Name" sounds like Kylie Minogue shoving aside Depeche Mode's Dave Gahan for microphone supremacy, and "Speak" resembles Garbage marketed to the 'tween demographic.
The biggest problem with Speak, though, is how little Lohan herself emerges. Her vocals possess about as much individuality as uniformed Catholic-school attendees, and while the music is edgier than that of her supposed rival, Hilary Duff, it's just as infuriatingly generic.