CD Review of Jordin Sparks by Jordin Sparks
Recommended if you like
Katharine McPhee, Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey
Label
19/Jive/Zomba
Jordin Sparks: Jordin Sparks

Reviewed by Mike Farley

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O
kay, someone has to stop this insanity already. This pop/lite R&B crap just keeps getting worse and worse. Not because it’s necessarily bad. I mean, it’s got melody, and it’s neatly arranged and slickly produced. But someone needs to throw away the cookie cutter already and start over, because these songs are all the same. In this case, we’re referring to Jordin Sparks’ self-titled debut. Sparks is the latest reigning American Idol champ, and there is no denying that she has some vocal talent and star appeal but once again, we’re treated to a crop of songs that is as bland and tired as the genre they represent.

The first track and single, “Tattoo,” is the best song of the bunch, but then it’s a steep ride downhill. “One Step at a Time” follows the same formula of another Idol alum, Katharine McPhee shotgun vocals and bouncy, annoying snyth beats. It’s the kind of contrived crap that will have you hitting “next.” So we will. “No Air” is a duet with up and comer Chris Brown, and if it weren’t for the variety of having Brown share vocal duties, this one would score an F too for its pure boredom. “Freeze” features Sparks shrieking in the chorus like a cat in heat, and it’s just nails on a chalkboard.

The formula created by these L.A. and New York songwriters just gets worse too, as evidenced by tunes like “Now You Tell Me” and “Permanent Monday.” And as a bonus track, they give us “This is My Now,” that positively awful song Sparks sang when winning Idol. A bonus? How about paying me for the pain inflicted on my ears?

No doubt Jordin Sparks will have some success, because after all, she won American Idol based on the fact that Americans voted for her. She’s young, she’s cute and she has a decent, if at times shrieky, voice. But even the American music-buying public won’t stand for garbage like this being released for much longer. They can’t possibly, can they? Unfortunately, the only thing that will stop the formulaic pop song machine is a serious dip in sales. Otherwise, enjoy your cookies.

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