Picks and Pans Review: Thalia

updated 07/14/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/14/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Thalia (Virgin)

If Jennifer Lopez had patented her sound, then she would be able to sue Thalia. On her English-language debut, the Mexican star, who has released nine hit albums in Spanish since 1990, blatantly copies J.Lo's successful blend of pop, dance, hip-hop, R&B and Latin elements. Thalia even brings in rapper Fat Joe for the disc's first single, "I Want You," in a lazy attempt to capture the Jenny-from-the-block vibe that led Lopez to No. 1 smashes with Ja Rule and LL Cool J. Adding to the song's stale-ness, it is built on the same sample from Brenda Russell's "A Little Bit of Love" that Big Pun used on his 1998 hit "Still Not a Player." And your sense of déjà vu will double when you hear four of the CD's tunes repeated in Spanish. But what Thalia lacks in originality she helps make up for with perky appeal. Despite sounding like a ripoff of Lopez's On the 6 cut "Let's Get Loud," the Latin dance track "Tú y Yo" (translation: You and I) is fiesta-ready fun.

BOTTOM LINE: Tepid Thalia

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