Brooke doesn't know best

BY ERIC ANDERSEN | JULY 21, 2009 7:15 AM

** out of *****

The cover art may not always be the best indicator of a classic album, but I do believe there is some kind of correlation between awesome music and badass artwork. The worst of both worlds happens in the case of Brooke Hogan’s sophomore effort The Redemption — crappy album art and cringe-inducing music.

Why is the cover art so bad? It makes the attractive Hogan look kind of like her mom — a bit worn from all the years of tanning and beauty product abuse. Just picture a topless chick graffiti spray painted on the side of a building in any downtown area.

Hogan is most famous for being the daughter of wrestler Hulk Hogan and starring in the VH1 reality show Hogan Knows Best. Now she is the star of Brooke Knows Best which is in its second season on VH1. It is likely The Redemption will sell well to teenage girls that watch the show, but I can’t see anyone else outside of that age range expressing any interest in the music.

It’s not that Hogan is a terrible singer. She actually sounds like she could have a decent voice in the few moments where the vocals aren’t completely dripping with auto tune and other audio effects. The strongest parts of the album are the pop/rock tracks “All I Want is You” and “You’ll Never Be Like Him”, where Hogan’s voice sounds genuine, if not a little dated.

The rest of the album sees Hogan straying from her fairly innocent lyrics of the first album Undiscovered to more sex-driven songs that go heavy on the club production with titles like “Strip”, “Handcuffs”, and the soon-to-be third single “Ruff Me Up” featuring Flo Rida. Hogan claims she helped write most of the lyrics on the album, but I don’t know if that is something to be proud of.

On “Ruff Me Up” Hogan sings “Pull my hair/go down my back/arch me up/and make me crack” advocating that she likes it rough — something tells me that Hulk Hogan wouldn’t approve of these lyrics. Then Flo Rida, who may just be the most annoying rapper to recently come out of the scene, chimes in with lyrics like “L.I.C. licky whatchu like in me/leave a hickey where nobody can see” in a performance that sounds very similar to his shitty rendition of “Right Round.”

Most of the remaining songs that don’t involve stripping or being handcuffed center around Hogan’s “tough life” — dealing with her parents’ divorce and brother’s arrest. I am pretty sure that Hogan has it easier than the average 21-year-old woman.

Teenage girls and fans of ‘90s pop music might find something to like here, but for most, making it to the last track “Finish Line” will be an accomplishment in itself.

Eric’s Picks: The middle picture in the CD booklet.

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