You didn't really think Willow Smith was going to disappear without another single, did you? Sure, "Whip My Hair"'s viral days are long over, and "21st Century Girl" was a comparative blip, but "Rock Star," now with a new teaser, deserves to change that. (Advance warning: if the idea of Willow Smith being a rock star makes you want to smash a guitar, know that this post is pro-Willow and thus maybe not for you.)
As teasers go, this one -- pegged to Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards -- is thankfully heavy on the music. Only a few (OK, more than a few) kids screaming "I LOVE YOU, WILLOW!" and some backstage business interrupt things, and you can hear the song under the dialogue anyway.
On paper, "Rock Star" is an obvious next step on Willow's baby-Rihanna trajectory (remember "Rockstar 101"? No? Well, we do.) But from the snippet, Willow's playing with different peers: specifically, teen-rock anthems like Miley Cyrus's "See You Again" or Allison Iraheta's "Friday I'll Be Over You." Yes, that's a compliment; "Rock Star" more than has stomps and hooks that are called for.
As for Willow, she thankfully limits the vocal dressup of "21st Century Girl" to two personalities. There's the rapper-hype girl that's identifiably Willow (thankfully, she doesn't sound like a Ke$ha copy this time), and then there's the pop-rock voice that works perfectly fine just carrying the melody -- not to mention carrying a whole lot of backing vocals that may not belong to Willow. A bit of unsolicited advice, though: there's no need to play the 10-year-old card ("don't be shocked by my age") at this stage. There's sass, and then there's just stating the obvious.