...you know she's capable of even better than this.

American R&B is undoubtedly the most cutting edge pop music in the world, since Missy Elliot and [a]Timbaland[/a] came up with the blueprint on her debut ‘Supa Dupa Fly’album in 1997.

But while the Americans have blazed a new, exciting trail, British R&B acts have largely trundled in their wake. Groups like Honeyz and the fast-fading Eternal have done little more than clumsily ape the hits of Destiny’s Child or Brandy.

Now with 19-year-old Birmingham homegirl Jamelia‘s debut, it seems like England’s finally come up with a talent to compete with the American giants. It helps that she’s worked with a decent production team. One of them, Rory Bennett, has helped make hits for K-Ci and Jo Jo, ex of huge R&B sex gods Jodeci.

But while they may have crafted the brilliant pop hits of ‘Money’ and ‘Call Me’, it’s Jamelia‘s voice that’s really the star of the show.

On love-sick ballads like ‘Ghetto’, Jamelia shows a maturity beyond her years – given the help of a production king like Rodney Jerkins or Kevin ‘She’kspere’ Briggs, she could surely conquer the planet. While there are a few less-inspired moments on this album, it’s a highly impressive debut.

One of the best things about ‘Drama’ is that you know she’s capable of even better than this.