Picks and Pans Review: Nivea

UPDATED 01/13/2003 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 01/13/2003 at 01:00 AM EST

Nivea (Jive)

Following Ashanti and Tweet in 2002, the latest one-named R&B-pop newcomer to carry on the spirit of Aaliyah is Nivea. On her Top 10 first single, the slyly funky '80s throwback "Don't Mess with My Man," the 20-year-old singer (full name: Nivea Hamilton) brings to mind the same youthful sass and sexiness that Aaliyah demonstrated on her breakthrough hit, 1994's "Back and Forth." With her sweet soprano and a delivery as smooth as the lotion with which she shares her name, Nivea recalls her late predecessor throughout this charming debut. She benefits from a becoming bunch of hip-hop soul cuts, including the reggae-tinged "Ya Ya Ya" (featuring rapper Lil Wayne) and the humorous kiss-off "Laundromat." Both tracks, coincidentally, were produced by R. Kelly, Aaliyah's former husband and musical mentor.

BOTTOM LINE: Nifty Nivea

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