Friday, January 1, 2010

Album Review: Just Like You - Allison Iraheta

Wow. This definitely exceeds expectation. Considering previous Idol releases, like Diana Degarmo's, I think she's got one of the better debut albums. Not quite Daughtry or David Cook or Kris Allen, but it's packed with quality songs.

Most songs are well written and really allow Allison to showcase her vocal prowess. She can reach those notes but at the same time, she sings with so much passion and emotion, it’s infectious. These songs were made for her, and she elevates them to a level few artists are ever able to. She is no Disney pop princess, she's one true rock princess!

Here's my track-by-track review: 

Personally, this song is a good representation of who she is musically. It has great energy and got that "in your face" quality that she seems to like. I like the simple kinks-like guitar riff with a cool melody of old school sounds. I'm also digging the fact that her husky alto is front and center here. Cute. Catchy. Having said that, I'd say that this track, specifically, isn't the strongest in the album. 7/10

At first listen, I didn't care much for this song. The lyrics seem to pander directly to 5-10 years old. But after awhile, it actually makes me smile. Ha! Sure, the song on the surface sounds poppy - and it is - but the lyrics are actually smart and the beat is totally infectious. 5/10

I wish the acoustic version is on the album. It's just so good. I love the guitars and her back-up harmony on the acoustic version. This. Not so much. It's okay. The piano at the beginning makes it sound like she's auditioning for Glee and the synthesizer in the middle is just cheesy for my taste. Just seems lacking a little something. 7/10

It was one of the few songs that I wasn’t totally feeling from the 30 seconds snippets I heard weeks ago. Well, color me impressed and I take it back. This is now officially my personal favorite! I love that there are more stuff going on in the bass, but more than anything else, the harmonic arrangement of this one is fan-freaking-tastic. Delicate. Soulful. I just hope the song didn't just abruptly ends. Ha! Still, Major Winner! 10/10

This song is gorgeous!! Stunning vocals and so much emotion! She sings like an old soul. The strong full-bodied unique voice is always in front and never overpowered by the instrumentations. This is a classic example of simple but powerful recording. I LOVE how raw her vocals sound. AMAZING. 10/10

I'm not sure if it's a good thing or not but the first 10 seconds of the song reminds me so much of King Of Leon's Use Somebody. I don't know. The chorus is somewhat overdone, but it’s still good. The verses are great, interesting bridge and it has got excellent drums. 5/10

PURE LOVE. I knew from the first listen of the clip that this was going to be a favorite. Damn Good! And although the high pitched whistle noise during the verses bothered me a bit, I still love it to pieces. Bewitching and Enticing. Oh, and you have to catch her riffing during the fade. Really nice. 8/10

Apparently, this song was first recorded by Dilana - Rockstar: Supernova. Interesting. The song kicks some serious ass. It blew me away! I like it a lot more now that I've heard it on a good system. This is easily one of the best songs on the record. 9/10

This, I believe, sounds like Daughtry's Over You with a girl singing. Just like Pieces, the chorus are way overdone but I like the verses and the bridge is cool - but too short! This one veers closest to the generic Daugthry-type stuff that puts me to sleep, but it's still way better than that, thanks in no small part to her delivery. 7/10

This is fantastic! A beautiful song backed with so much feeling. I think I'm going to need someone to wave some smelling salts at me every time I finish listening to this because I fall over dead every time. Ha! Really really well written song with a full-bodied voice to it. This has got to be a single at some point. I see it potentially being THE Big Ballad Hit. 10/10

I'm still kind of working on this song. I'm liking it a bit more than I did though. It just strikes me as one big cliche, but it does have some classic pop harmonic structure in the chorus that I just can't resist. I love the different elements going on, especially the reverb on the guitar parts and the vocal dynamics with a great deal of emotion. 7/10

Wow. I know Chris Brown made it taboo to talk about bad relationships. But, the song just screams Top 40 Hit! Maybe after she gets established on the radio, and we get a full year away from the Chris Brown/Rihanna incident, they will release this. I really think this track should be IT! It's catchy and fun to bop to for sure , and it's really well produced. One of my favorites. 9/10

I just love her voice and the lyrics on this song. Heck, I could see this being an Idol exit song. Ha! I'm also thrilled that she co-write this song. Great. It's one of the best on the album - really rockin', but with softer parts and without being overproduced. 9/10

Seriously. I enjoyed the album - for the most part. It's a little too shiny sounding in spots, but it's a really good record. Like really, really good. I’m just so happy that her voice shines through in this first debut efforts. There are lots of really glorious moments - plenty of the real Allison to love. The whole thing hangs together amazingly well, especially considering the usual mish-mash of producers involved. A good, strong album overall. I just never dared dream it would be this good. Light-years ahead of Adam’s, and at least as good as Kris’. Haha!

Sales really aren't that important to me at this juncture – only because she has little to no visibility outside the American Idol bubble. Finishing fourth after a strong finale finalists in Adam and Kris - unlike a pair of weak Taylor and Katharine, Daughtry was fortunate - with no visibility and no Idol machine to ride, her direction given all the data, has to be routed as a new artist - like Kris Allen - and not as a glamrock god or the second coming of an icon - like Adam Lambert.

All I have to say is this: Instead of buying the FAUX rocker’s - Adam Lambert - album. People should buy the REAL rocker’s record. Allison Iraheta was definitely the real rocker from this season, and her music proves it!

RATING: 7.9/10


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