Picks and Pans Review: Jesse McCartney

updated 05/26/2008 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/26/2008 01:00AM

Departure |

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POP

"Leavin'," the hit first single from Jesse McCartney's new CD, indeed marks somewhat of a departure for the 21-year-old former boy-bander. Less "Beautiful Soul," more blue-eyed soul, the hip-hop-flavored midtempo confection is pure ear candy, perfect for spring-summer consumption. "Leavin'" is the best song on a disc where McCartney at times comes off as a cross between a younger Justin Timberlake and a paler Chris Brown. But some of his R&B posturing feels affected and he can't quite leave his teen-pop past behind.

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