By Steve Weinstein
By Bryan Bierman
By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
Until today, I was reasonably sure that no one but Interscope publicist Greg Miller and I had listened to all of A Beautiful World, the 2003 debut by Growing Pains star Alan Thicke's son Robin. (Blame Remy Shand, who greedily filled that season's blue-eyed-soul quota with his own album.) Now it appears that our little club has cause to admit another member: Near the end of Beautiful Soul, the charting-for-nine-months-so-far debut by blond-locked, lip-glossed WB heartthrob Jesse McCartney, the Summerlandstar covers "The Stupid Things," Thicke's tenderhearted paean to "interest rates so swift": "Just charge it to my account," McCartney sings, fitting, like Thicke does, too many syllables into a sumptuous vocal melody. "I hope I haven't gone over my limit."
The rest of Beautiful Soul pays less obvious but just as sincere tribute to A Beautiful World: In the unfortunately titled "Get Your Shine On" McCartney urges everyone to celebrate his or her inner teen-soap star over tinny sub-Jamiroquai disco-funk; "Without U" pillages mid-period Jacko like only an expensively coiffed white fellow can; "Why Don't You Kiss Her?" appeals to L.A.'s working underclass with some pilfered Enrique Iglesias Spanish guitar. Do the New Radicals next, Jess? That was my shit.
Jesse McCartney plays the Hammerstein Ballroom June 24.