Lee Kim Close To You

Toronto's Lee Kim is pure saccharine, radio-geared pop, dripping with soul, emotion and heart-felt drama. That's OK, though, because he gets away with it on the strength of his songwriting. He's looking to become Canada's first Asian pop star and may very well appeal to the, um, less discerning music fans. The music itself isn't bad, and Kim's voice is pretty strong, if you're into nothing overly challenging. The lyrics get a bit over the top, though: "'Cause we are young/We are wild and we are free/I can feel the energy from our souls/Who cares what tomorrow brings/We are young." Listening to this album is kind of like listening to Reckless - running through blowing leaves and rain, all tortured and brimming with the pain of love, etc. The emotions and pop sentimentality are so openly worn on the sleeve of this album that it becomes difficult to take seriously. Still, your 13-year-old sister might dig it. (Chamber)