Picks and Pans Review: Thinking Room
Taking her native New Zealand by storm last October when this album opened at No. 1, Anika Moa, 22, looked like she might be the biggest Kiwi export since Lord of the Rings once Thinking Room finally hit Stateside shores. Unfortunately, in borrowing from a variety of other female singer-songwriters who have already established themselves on the U.S. charts, Moa can't decide what she wants to be.
One moment she's wispy and wistful like Sarah McLachlan, the next she's leaning toward Alanis Morissette at her most annoyingly self-aware. But with a paper-thin soprano, neither persona suits her. Moa is at her best when she's unadorned, as on the acoustic "I Talked to You," or irrepressibly funky, as on "My Son," which brims with electronic beats, insistent bass lines and the undulating tribal vibe of the Australian didgeridoo.
Bottom Line: A not-yet-ripe Kiwi