All over the stylistically ambitious (if dubiously titled) Wikked Lil' Grrrls, the 26-year-old demonstrates her admirable grasp of current sounds. She calls in favors from such radio and MTV fixtures as Andre 3000 and Cee-Lo Green, and demonstrates her ability to sing over everything from Fiona Apple-style art-pop to smoothed-out R&B to the sort of big-band hip-hop that Blu Cantrell once made famous for approximately 14 minutes. So Esthero's problem with pop isn't that it doesn't do the right things; it's that it doesn't go far enough with them. She doesn't either, of course; even if our wait is over for a track pairing rainforest percussion with electroclash bass, "We R in Need of a Musical ReVoLuTIoN" can't help but fall short of its goal. Still, this wikked grrrl's frustration is to our benefit.
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