Though maybe balm might be more important now that the weather is chapping the hell out of ‘em.
With days until Dick Clark’s rockin’ bells, Lil Mama finishes out the year one more semi-success who spun MySpace audio player ubiquity and blanket “omg awesome!” comment-box testimonials from just about anyone who wasn’t anti-bubblegum by nature (a.k.a. a bad person) into the Top 10, and then… well, not much. Good clippings and an appearance in the Hot 100′s upper echelon is a comfortable enough finish to the year for some crit-fed Canucks or even a no-hope singing contest also-ran. But when you’re an obvious kid-world star languishing in Billboard‘s wings; when your cutesy (a flow fierce enough to flash rougher rap roots but still Disney safe; the wikky-wikky “what’cha” hook; the ecstatic pivots and hiccups in the maybe-you-like-lip-gloss-a-little-too-much bridge; the high-school setting and cosmetological life-lessons) but club-hardened (the beat as blank as it is loud) sound was why crits have yet to retire the much-abused “crossover”; when even your self-styled look was bang up to 2007′s neon-popping… well, it’s got to make you want to send irritated texts to your spooked label for dropping the socially networked ball. Still, while I am bummed over Mama’s unintentional inability to keep the momentum of “Lip Gloss” going (and keeping hope alive for ’08), this remains the year’s gold (or your favorite metallic shade) standard for teen sass set to big ol’ booms, maybe only as deep as a single coat of watermelon-flavored extra-shine, but twice as tasty.