On American Idol this year, teenager Allison Iraheta sang if she mainlined cigarettes for decades and revealed herself as one of the most credible rockers to sing on the Idol stage. Of course, there is not much competition for that title, some people actually think David Cook is a rock artist. Heck, lil' dynamo Allison could have excelled on CBS' defunct Rock Star a few years back. (We hear Aerosmith wants a new singer...)
I was thrilled that Iraheta, though cut in fourth place behind the banal Danny Gokey, managed to secure a fast record deal at the same time as winner Kris Allen and runnerup Adam Lambert. But Just Like You, the resulting album, strips Iraheta of her personality in favor of off-the-shelf songwriting and overproduction.
There are moments. D Is for Dangerous is a kicky rocker and Scars is a heartfelt ballad.
Beat Me Up has the biggest hook yet could foster a backlash in the wake of Rihanna for lines in which Iraheta's addicted to a relationship so much she'll welcome mistreatment. But the teen probably means it the same way pre-disaster Britney meant ... Baby One More Time 10 years ago. The only drawback is that once Beat Me Up cranks out a classic rock guitar riff at the end, producers cut it off way too soon as if its editing was done by broadaxe. Audious interruptus. We can take a few more bars of rock guitar, peeps.
Just Like You suffers from the fate of 99.9 percent of first albums from Idols. Producers and songwriters all come from the same pen so the star isn't the singer but the studio personnel and every hint of personality is leeched from the performer. Iraheta could be Kelly Clarkson-Pink-Avril Lavigne, here -- seemingly anyone but the gifted Allison Iraheta who really earned that recording contract. Given her prodigious talent, that's a dirty shame.
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