Kristina Feliciano
February 13, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

Combine luxe jazz vocalist Julie London with a rapper and you’ll get a sense of this unique singer-songwriter’s charm. McKay crafts piano-based standards that bristle with smart, thorny lyrics and address everything from cloning to pet adoption, and she delivers them with lingering languor, then rat-a-tat bravado. Sophisticated stuff even for a music vet; truly stunning considering McKay is only 19. Her tart and sparkling two-disc debut will surely challenge mainstream mind-sets, but that’s okay: There’s more than enough predictable fare out there for idle worshippers.

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