By People Staff
March 05, 2001 12:00 PM

3LW (Epic)

While the teen-pop market has been dominated by boy bands such as ‘N Sync and Backstreet Boys and female solo artists such as Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, girl groups are now starting to get in on the act. Dream, the foursome launched by Sean “Puffy” Combs, recently hit the Top 10 with its debut album It Was All a Dream and first single “He Loves U Not.” And 3LW (which stands for 3 Little Women) is hoping to follow Dream up the charts with its freshman collection.

Whereas Dream recalls early Spice Girls, the diminutive trio of Adrienne Bailon, 17, Naturi Naughton, 16, and Kiely Williams, 14, is more of a cross between elder sister acts Destiny’s Child and TLC, though both groups have done this kind of urban pop-R&B mélange a lot better. Although 3LW injects such hip-hop-inflected tracks as “No More (Baby I’ma Do Right)” and “Is You Feelin’ Me” with the requisite amounts of you-go-girl attitude and grammar-grating slang, they lack the memorable melodies, distinctive vocals and state-of-the-street production that mark the best work of Destiny’s Child and TLC.

The girls of 3LW also seem a tad young for some of the songs that have been written for them, including “Playas Gon’ Play,” which is about bed-hopping boys. Still, they show plenty of teen spirit when given more age-appropriate material such as “Crush on You” and “More Than Friends (That’s Right),” the disc’s standout tune.

Bottom Line: Little Women not quite ready for the big time