One Love
by Kimberley Locke, pop (2004)
Curb, ASIN B0001MMG86

Kimberley Locke is the second runner-up in the second season of American Idol. I have always found her singing on that show good but dull and have always suspected that her surge in popularity towards the end is due more to her association with Clay Aiken than her actual talent. Depending on which Clay Aiken fan you ask, Locke is Aiken's secret girlfriend or his best friend forever. With the release of her debut CD, Locke will face the first true test of her career: she will now have to sell her music without being a placeholder to Aiken's fans in these fans' fantasies.

Perhaps shrewdly, there's a song here that features Aiken as a duet partner, Without You, which is a predictable duet of two people who oversing rather than sing. An otherwise unmemorable track, this track is no doubt banked on to help move this CD off the shelves into the hands of overzealous Clay Aiken fans who must have everything and anything that has Aiken on it.

Everything else about One Love is tepid happy pop. 8th World Wonder is a fabulous pop tune, never mind the vapid lyrics, and nothing else comes close. Still, the obligatory woman-power anthems like Wrong and lovelorn ballads that fill this CD make for some pleasant - if predictable - listening. Her versions of I Can't Make You Love Me and Somewhere Over The Rainbow, which she performed on American Idol especially in the case of the latter which is practically her anthem, are commendable but unexceptional.

One Love is a straightforward radio-friendly pop album. On one hand, it isn't as bland as Aiken's debut CD, but on the other hand, One Love is so safe and complacent that I doubt it will make Locke as big a commercial success as Aiken, Kelly Clarkson, or Ruben Studdard.

Rating: 75

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