You may not have heard of Devin Star Tailes, but you’ve no doubt heard her voice. The hook for Far East Movement’s 2010 hit “Like a G6” was taken from Dev’s “Booty Bounce,” which is justification enough to hate her. But there are plenty of reasons to like her too, not least of which is her JJ Fad-grade flow and the fact that she knows all the lyrics to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.” The trouble is that the 22-year-old California singer’s debut, The Night the Sun Came Up, fails to back up her claim that she’s more than just a Ke$ha clone.
Even if the album’s opening track, “Getaway,” doesn’t exactly succeed as the multi-genre pastiche it aims for, starting as a midtempo piano ballad before morphing into a hip-hop-styled coronation, it displays the breadth of Dev’s abilities—or at least her musical taste—and even counters Ke$ha’s famous lyric about brushing her teeth with Jack Daniels with a slightly more profound use for a bottle of booze. But the song’s final admission that Dev’s “got a secret,” not to mention her invitation to listeners to discover what it is, is immediately followed with the vacuous declaration that it’s “In My Trunk,” a sub-Black Eyed Peas club banger that should come as no surprise considering the group is shouted out on the album’s first single, “Bass Down Low.”
Dev’s liberal use of Auto-Tune, mind-numbingly repetitive monosyllabic hooks, and proudly idiotic lyrics (“gettin’ high on Robitussin” on “Bass Down Low,” inexplicable coughing and nods to soy milk and eye drops on “Lightspeed”) will only bolster the Ke$ha comparisons, but when she raps, it’s another female artist, perhaps one some might consider the complete antithesis of Ms. Sebert, that springs to mind: Robyn. The similarities in their cadences is no more apparent than on The Night the Sun Came Up‘s best track (and second single), “In the Dark,” which, like the accordion-fueled “Breathe,” follows the current trend of blending Eurotrash beats and synths with Latin or Mediterranean flourishes. But unlike many of the songs on the album, “In the Dark” eschews too-aggressive beats and chintzy snyths; instead, production duo the Cataracs let the song’s sleek sax line and Dev’s sexy “ooh la la” hook do all the work. It’s almost enough to forgive them for “Like a G6.”