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Better to come...
on 22 March 2011
On Jennifer Hudson's `I Remember Me', gone are the days of that real R'n'B club feel you got from `Spotlight' and the rest of her debut release. Instead you'll find a collection of immaculately produced piano driven ballads. Instead of embracing that more hard R&B sound of her debut, `I Remember Me' sticks to more mainstream beats that wouldn't sound out of place on a Leona Lewis release.
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. With her more recent personal tragedies I was really rooting for her on this new release. I still think there is enormous potential in making a great record of original material but she is yet to find the most effective direction for this.
I will add that the UK edition does include 'Spotlight' and from Sex & the City 2, a duet with Leona Lewis 'Love is your Color'. I have no qualms including these. Just a little shame they outshine the newer material.