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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Track-by-Track: Allison Iraheta - Just Like You

On her debut album, American Idol contestant Allison Iraheta comes across as a mix of Kelly Clarkson and Pink, but her vocals and attitude really shine. It may not be the most original work ever created, but it's a solid debut... certainly better than I expected.

1. Friday I'll Be Over U - A blast of youthful power pop, this was an obvious choice for the first single, though somewhat of a red herring since this style doesn't really repeat itself until the end of the album. It's undeniably a Max Martin-penned track, with those big punchy choruses and mammoth instrumentation. 10/10

2. Robot Love - Over a glam-rock-meets-electro beat, Iraheta sings/chants an addictive song about a boy in love with technology. It's one of the album's most interesting detours, and a style she'd be wise to follow, as it really sets her apart. This is another big sounding record, and something very current. 10/10

3. Just Like You - Now we're in Kelly Clarkson territory. Iraheta has a very strong voice and presence, so this works, but it's nothing innovative or different. There are better Clarkson-esque tracks on here. 7/10

4. Don't Waste The Pretty - A strummy little upbeat number, this feels tailor-made for radio, and that's one of its weaknesses. I like the melody and the overall sound, but something's just a little irritating. Maybe I'm just not a fan of these type of "inspirational" message songs. 8/10

5. Scars - The first big ballad, and Iraheta really shines here, sounding much older than she is. The lyrics are nice, and the chorus is especially beautiful. It's very Breakaway-era Clarkson. 9/10

6. Pieces - This kicks off sounding a little like Kings Of Leon's Use Somebody, but never scales the heights that they achieved with that hit. The verses are better than the chorus, which is kinda weak. 7/10

7. D Is For Dangerous- Another exercise in attitude, this one also feels a little lacking. The tempo's a little middling, missing the extra boost of energy that this song needs to be successful. The chugging guitar stomp of the verses is nice. The chorus is a little shrill. 7/10

8. Holiday - Now this is more like it! A straight up rock song, this sounds like something from Green Day's last couple of albums or even Hole's Celebrity Skin. The melody is great, and Iraheta really comes into her own here. It's probably the rockiest song on the album. 10/10

9. Still Breathing - Radio fodder, for sure, but pleasant enough. The melody in the verses is especially nice, and the dramatic chorus works well enough. Still, it's one of the more forgettable tracks. 8/10

10. Trouble Is - Some of this is a total rip-off of Christina Aguilera's Beautiful, but then there's that bluesy chorus, one of the best on the album. The strings at the end are absolutely gorgeous, and Iraheta sounds particularly stunning here. 9/10

11. No One Else - Now this actually sounds like Melissa Etheridge. It's a ballsy rock song where Iraheta really gets to sing her heart out. I love these harder edged tracks. This feels like a real catharsis, and it's the type of thing she does best. 10/10

12. Beat Me Up - Back to the style of the first track, this 80's rocker possesses probably the finest, most instant pop melody on the album. I take some issue with the lyrics, which really don't fit the song, but the melody and energy alone earn this a 10/10

13. You Don't Know Me - Another pop rocker, this is sort of a comedown after the last track. It's sort of middle-of-the-road, which would certainly work for American radio, but isn't one of the strongest tracks here. 7/10

Album Grade: 8.6/10

3 Comments:

Anonymous Lauren said...

Thanks for the review! Glad to see you liked it overall. I have different favorites though. I love "Don't Waste the Pretty" and "Just Like You" as well as "Beat Me Up" and "You Don't Know Me." The tracks I actually like the least are two of highest ranked here. FIBOU and "Robot Love" are not really for me, but I do like the lyrics in "Robot Love." So funny and true. I say this a great debut album from Allison especially in such a short amount of time.

2:33 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

Hmmm still tempted but i think she will have to wait until the glut of christmas releases has died down a bit for me!! I have put her on my "artists to listen to in January" list - which actually usually bodes well for the upcoming year!!

10:28 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

Paul, I won't say that it's a can't-miss type of album, but I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. There are a few real standouts.

5:03 PM  

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