Might it be the best Idol record yet? If it isn't, it's certainly up there. I was not expecting on writing a review for this album, but I'm quite taken with it... far more than I would have thought.
1. Heartbreak On Vinyl - Here, on one song, Blake makes up for everything that went wrong with the last album. At once an epic dancepop anthem, a slyly politic rant on the state of independent record stores, and a wistful story-song, this track has everything. Very impressive. 10/10
2. Binary Love - Borrowing a page from David Guetta's book, this track features an aggressive techno-dance beat (one of the best on the album) and a robotic chorus that becomes more and more addictive by the second. 10/10
3. Freak - This dance track's fantastic verses are let down somewhat by a chorus that's a bit repetitive, but it fits nicely with the previous songs and is one of the better dance tracks on the album. 9/10
4. Sad Song - The first single, and actually one of the more underwhelming uptempos on the album. The song itself is great, but the problem I think comes in the mixing. The vocals and melody don't seem to mesh with the music as well as they should. 8/10
5. Rhythm Of My Heart - A slightly poppier song, this sounds much more mainstream than other tracks, though the bucketful of hooks ensures that every piece is worth listening to. 9/10
6. Afraid - Another more mainstream, modern electro/r&b midtempo. It sounds very Timbaland although it's produced by Rodney Jerkins (one of the biggest names on the record). Good, but a little generic compared to the rest of the material. 7/10
7. Left My Baby For You - Another absolute triumph, and tied for best song on the album. In some ways it sounds similar to Black Eyed Peas' monster hit I Gotta Feeling, though it's a million times better. A feel-good, summery pop hit with a ridiculous amount of hooks, great falsetto and one hell of a beat. Essential. 10/10
8. Rebel Without A Cause - The verses here are the best part of the song. It's got a very Police/Sting feel to it, if the Police/Sting went electronic. It's an interesting track, and a real grower. 9/10
9. SuperScratchaVocalisticTurnatableLicious - A minute-long interlude that serves no purpose other than to remind us that Blake is a beatboxer. I don't grade interludes, though this one isn't overly annoying nor overly necessary.
10. Come On Be Good - I love the melody of this, especially the bridge and the chorus. It sounds like something I've heard before, though I can't put my finger on it. Another uptempo. Very good. 9/10
11. Our Rapture Of Love - The first slow track on the album, and the weaker of the two. It's still quite nice, though. Blake's vocals sound brilliant on this album, and no more so than here. 8/10
12. The Point - A more interesting (melodically and lyrically), and seemingly more personal ballad. The vocals are especially nice, as is the melody. It would have been a perfect album closer. 9/10
13. The Remedy - This has got perhaps the catchiest and poppiest bridge on the entire album. It's back to straight-up pop music here, and this would be an excellent single choice because it's impossible not to like. 10/10
14. Love Or Torture (Please Don't Stop) - Another big dance track to end the album, this one has a bit of a garage sound. It's very nice, and very catchy, though it's not my favorite uptempo on the album. 8/10
Album Grade: 8.9/10