Picks and Pans Review: Inner Child

updated 02/10/1992 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/10/1992 AT 01:00 AM EST

Shanice

This young woman covers all the bases. She overdubs harmonies as intricate as En Vogue's, raps righteously and absolutely sings her tail feather off. Book it. She's also savvy enough to snag hit maker Narada Michael Walden as a collaborator and producer. The result is a fresh and frisky introduction to this promising 18-year-old talent.

"I Love Your Smile" has risen to the top of the R&B charts on its jaunty, literally bells-and-whistles riff, its jazzy a cappella refrain and a walloping beat. Other ear seductions include a cherubic cover of the old Minnie Ripperton hit, "Lovin' You" and the sass-and-sizzle "You Ain't All That."

As Shanice Wilson, the singer released an album called Discovery at age 15, on another label. There are signs that this prodigy may be with us for a while. Already, Shanice possesses the maturity and the emotional and tonal range to humidify slow songs like "I'm Cryin' " and "Silent Prayer," a duet with Johnny Gill.

Shanice's personality, while strong, leaves the listener with no single imprint—often a key to commercial success. Mostly, she seems intent on proving she can sing anything. For now, that's more than enough. (Motown)

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