Poor Jordin Sparks. I’m sure you’ve all learned by now that she has the lowest-selling debut CD so far with this self-titled effort. But as many hapless contestants of American Idol had learned in the past, the television show and the actual recording industry can’t be any more different. It is not surprising that the post-show success of the contestants fizzles with the increasing numbers of winners and runners-up in the alumni. It is unfortunate in this case however because Jordin Sparks is a collection of very enjoyable songs.
The lead single Tattoo is a delightful song that manages to be simple and low-key and yet at the same time remains too catchy for words. It’s a very nice pick-me-up song, if I may say so, especially with its chorus that is just so easy to sing along. If someone turns a big, wide, and happy smile into a song, this is probably that song.
But while there are some cute if rather banal songs like One Step at a Time and the ballad God Loves Ugly, there are moments of unexpected pop genius too. These songs raise this CD from being another collection of fluffy fun tunes into something a little bit more than that, in my opinion. Freeze is a fantastic song with a killer hook, although there are times where it is eerie how much she sounds like Tracie Spencer, the poor one-hit wonder of the last decade. It’s my favorite song in this CD, but the robotic awesomeness of Shy Boy and the quaintly eccentric See My Side are pretty good too to my ears.
Due to her youth, Ms Sparks lacks a distinct voice and style, thus she’s like a chameleon here, adapting to various contemporary R&B and pop styles with a welcome lack of banshee shrieks and glory notes that the judges of American Idol glorify as “real singing”. Her self-titled debut is a fabulous collection of perfect ear candies at the end of the day, though. Time will tell if she can prolong her career into something more than a flash in the pan, but for now, I’m more than happy to enjoy this CD.