Picks and Pans Review: Bobby's Girl
updated 01/10/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 01/10/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST
Charming and alarming by turns, this is the first solo album by the little star of the movie Annie. When Aileen, now 11, acts her age, she's beguiling. The alarming part is that she has been asked by producer Gary Klein to sing not only Leo Sayer and Vincent Poncia's You Make Me Feel Like Dancing but three songs by the gifted Micheal Smotherman in which verbal subtlety is crucial to the music. Somehow, hearing an 11-year-old warble the philosophical We Don't Know Why ("We just know that we don't know why") seems like a classic case of losing the essence in translation. Aileen doesn't have the big voice that the original Broadway Annie, Andrea McArdle, did from the outset, and her little-girl sound lapses into woeful frailty in a couple of spots. But she can be thoroughly engaging. The album's title song—the 1962 Marcie Blane hit (co-written by Klein)—is perfect for her, full of bounce and enthusiasm, and she is equally appealing on Songs, the Dennis Scott tune which appeared on the Sesame Street Country album. Aileen's career should be full of tomorrows, in more ways than one.