Reaching Out by Lindsay Mendez is full of good songs, good singing and good playing. At the same time, it’s hard to imagine who’d be made happy by it. That’s not a reflection on the young teenager’s talent, but on the album’s song choices and production style. It’s hard to imagine her natural audience – other young teens – responding to an album of blues rock in a Sheryl Crow or Bonnie Raitt vein, and it’s hard to imagine an older audience finding her authoritative singing such material.
The closest to an age-appropriate song for Mendez is the lead cut, “A Girl Could Get Hurt This Way.” It’s a pop song, and it’s immediately engaging in a High School Musical way, but the production emphasizes the song’s country roots instead of shining it up so that it sounds like contemporary pop. As a result, the most natural vehicle for Mendez comes off as merely lightweight.
Lindsay Mendez may become a talent, so Reaching Out is best thought of as part of an effort to discover who she is musically.