...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 Timbaland 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.
6 / 10

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