Picks and Pans Review: Amy Macdonald

updated 08/25/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/25/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

This Is the Life

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CRITIC'S CHOICE

FOLD-POP
"Give me a stage and I'll be a rock and roll queen/Your 20th-century cover of a magazine/Rolling Stone, here I come/Watch out everyone," Amy Macdonald confidently announces on her debut album. And who would doubt this 21-year-old after listening to This Is the Life (which has already hit No. 1 in the U.K., where it was released last year)? Bringing to mind a folkier, feistier version of another Scottish singer-songwriter—KT Tunstall—Macdonald digs into roots pop while adding some native accents. On tracks like the jangling title tune and the sweetly pining "A Wish for Something More," her rich, resonant voice packs plenty of power and passion.

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