Simply Resistible

Newcomer R&B singer Jessica wins the prize for the most sexually suggestive cover album of the year: the 18-year-old straddles a chair and stares down at her crotch while a phallic-looking leg chair shimmers prominently below.

Clichéd sexiness aside, You Can't Resist showcases a strong, husky, Toni Braxton-like voice that sometimes shines. Sometimes. For Jessica, a Chicago native, is at her best when she's allowed to sing unencumbered by the pervasive female chorus that seems to accompany all divas these days. One excellent exception here is the gospel-tinged "Thank You My Lord" (RealAudio excerpt), a swelling, soulful tune that highlights the singer's vocal prowess.

The remainder of the album is fair, but unspectacular. The party anthem "Get Up" (RealAudio excerpt) uses old-school hip-hop beats and has a likeable groove. Things slow down on the unmemorable ballads "I Can Make You Love Again" and "Get To Know Me," while the upbeat and sassy "You Don't Need Him" (RealAudio excerpt) sees Jessica schooling a girlfriend on the shortcomings of her boyfriend.

The majority of You Can't Resist is highly produced, with stop-start hooks, overlapping choruses and lyrics that alternate between dissing and devotion. Here's hoping that Jessica's next album will feature more of her original style and less of what's already out there.