- Audio CD (25 April 2011)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: RCA
- ASIN: B004MRX8BA
- Other Editions: Audio CD | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,269 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
I Remember Me CD
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The album title, I Remember Me, is based on a poem written by Grammy and Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson and composed into a beautiful song co-written by Ryan Tedder (Beyonce’s "Halo" and Leona Lewis’ "Bleeding Love") that will be featured on the album. Additional writers and producers on the album include multi-award winners Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz, Rich Harrison, Ne-Yo and Stargate.
The success of TV talent show alumni is usually measured by how well they manage to separate themselves from their launchpad – whether they can transform their image from mere contestant to viable pop star convincingly. Jennifer Hudson, though, is arguably the most accomplished product of American Idol, what with an Oscar to go with her gold-certificated albums. And yet, for all her outsized talents, there still remains something of the ordinary girl next door about her.
In the three years since her eponymous debut, Hudson has been through more emotional turbulence than most. In 2008, she suffered tragedy when her sister's estranged husband murdered her mother, brother and nephew; the following year, she gave birth to her first child. The widespread expectation that she would use her second album as a direct form of catharsis was misplaced, though: bar a few non-committal references to past pain, that's simply not Hudson's style. Despite her powerhouse voice and ability to convey emotion, her presence is an understated one – as is her personality, given her apparent preference for vague generalities over hyper-specific detail.
Like her debut, I Remember Me is a curate's egg of an album. Hudson seems to have been able to make even the most excitable producers to calm down: Rich Harrison's contribution, the delicate, piano-driven No One Gonna Love You, is a far cry from the percussive drama he usually favours, while the military tattoo and gospel handclaps of Angel find Swizz Beatz in unusually restrained mode. Hudson excels on both, as well as on the pensive, Ne-Yo-penned Why Is It So Hard: as on her breakthrough hit Spotlight in 2008, her thoughtful, composed delivery is a natural fit for the finesse of his songwriting. The soaring Don't Look Down even has anthem potential: it's low-key here, but the house remix will explode.
But at heart, Hudson still seems as humble as any American Idol contestant still merely "happy to be here"; it makes her all the more endearing, but doesn't always bring her material to life. The less said about an ill-advised big band cover of Feeling Good the better, but what's most disappointing are the faux-inspirational cuts – the title-track, Still Here – whose triteness simply doesn't do Hudson justice. Surely, seven years on from her American Idol graduation, she should be leaving such stock songwriting behind?
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Top Customer Reviews
It went gold and, thanks to being nominated alongside a mostly undeserving set of contemporaries, took the 2009 Grammy for Best R&B Album. However, a considerable amount of ill-suited material combined with obstructive guest appearances made it something of a misfire.
If the album was truly worthy of a Grammy, "I Remember Me" better run the ceremony's R&B table in 2012.
There is no lightweight pop, no beatbox-based Timbaland beats, no audible Auto-Tune -- no messing around.
Even the adult contemporary material -- the songs that function strictly as a platform for Hudson's powerhouse vocals -- packs more punch.
Most of the songwriters and producers who return from the debut, namely StarGate, Ne-Yo, and Harvey Mason, contribute positively here.
The shrewdest move was involving Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz, and Salaam Remi.
"Angel", a euphoric testimonial written by Alicia Keys and co-produced by Keys and Swizz, sounds like it could have been made for Teena Marie, recalling "I Need Your Lovin'" while switching between tapping snares and a smacking four-four beat.
Keys and Swizz also team on "Everybody Needs Love", a hard disco throwback that is 80 percent slip-and-slide drums with a gorgeous, prancing chorus.
On "Don't Look Down", Keys and Remi (with Swizz handling the programmed drums) provide a boisterous and uplifting backdrop for one of Hudson's most gospel-rooted performances.
Remi also produces a bold interpretation of Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse's "Feeling Good" that surpasses every vocal version not recorded by Nina Simone.
Another welcome alliance comes from R.Read more ›
With the songwriting/production credits including Alicia Keys, Ryan Tedder, Ne-Yo, Stargate and R Kelly, my expectations were quite high. Unfortunately I have to admit I was largely disappointed. That fantastic voice still lives on but the material here is average at best. Outside of lead single `Where You At', the stand out tracks are few and far between and come in the form of `Why Is It So Hard' (penned by Ne-Yo) and `Gone', which takes a strong beat and blends with the acoustic guitar and some synthesized sounds. Infectious and `alternative' but done better by Leona Lewis in a similar vain with her track `Naked'.
Anyone wondering how Hudson's much publicized struggles take form here you'll find out on `Still Here' where the tragedy she has faced is beautifully incorporated in this Dianne Warren ballad.
The best way to describe the album is pleasant but forgettable. There is a somewhat summery feel across the whole album except for the big brass banded, motown tinged cover of `Feeling Good', where you pause to wonder why Jennifer doesn't explore this sound a little more.
I have to say, I think Jennifer Hudson is a really great role model. To go from Disney alumni to leaving the early stages of `American Idol' as an underdog and become an Academy Award winning actress is inspiration defined and a message to everyone everywhere to never give up on yourself.Read more ›
Few minor complaints - I realise that Americans love their anthem but do we really need to have the Star Spangled Banner as a track on music CD? - it's utterly meaningless to anyone outside of the American market. I'd have rather they left it out or replaced it with another song from the range she has recorded for different sound tracks and such. Another space waster is having the song Spotlight on this CD . . . fans will already own it? Curious decision? - would have even made more sense if it were a re-mix of some description.
For me the low points of this collection are the track Gone, which sounds like a Jordin Sparks or Kelly Clarkson offering (not good enough for Jennifer Hudson) and the title track I Remember Me, which contains quite poorly written lyrics. The highlights are definitely Believe, I Got This, Angel, Why Is It So Hard and Where You At.
I feel there was a missed opportunity with the Leona Lewis duet too - two great voices could have made something so much more memorable than the insipid offering on this CD - surely someone involved in the process should have realised this. Think back to Jennifer's last CD and her duet with Fantasia OR even the Whitney Houston/Mariah Carey - When You Believe or Donna Summer and Barbara Streisand - Enough Is Enough (No More Tears) - It's more than possible!
Overall a good CD but not a great CD - I know Jennifer Hudson has much more to offer and, in the right hands, will eventually drop a flawless, killer CD!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Loved this CD and what a voice. Loved all the tracks and what a fantastic version of "Feeling Good". I enjoyed her last CD too.Published on 3 Dec. 2013 by Vonney
This sounded like it was a European release. Although JHud is great regardless, I prefer the US version of the songs to the Euro release.Published on 10 July 2013 by Dee