Dye your hair with Kool-Aid and start joking about cutting, because 30-second snippets of Allison Iraheta’s major label debut Just Like You have hit the web. Everybody knows I was less-than-thrilled with the super-poppy, heavily-processed vocals of Iraheta’s Max Martin-produced single “Friday I’ll Be Over U.” But will the rest of her album make me happy? Let’s go through these too-short snippets and see.
» “Friday I’ll Be Over U”
» “Robot Love”
In this pulsating electro-pop ditty (which samples Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll Part II”), Iraheta is pissed that her boyfriend is in love with a robot. Whether said robot is an actual lady cyborg or just an iPhone is to be determined. Also TBD? Whether this song will have a discernible melody. We’re on track two and I’m already thinking “filler?” Ruh-roh.
» “Just Like You”
Good news: I’m finally hearing Allison’s voice without a bunch of studio trickery around it. Bad news: The mid-tempo chorus is as generic as it gets, both melodically and lyrically. Good news again: The verse sounds more promising, where the sassy teen sings about deleting a dude’s texts.
» “Don’t Waste the Pretty”
Whoever gave Iraheta this bland track should be choked. (Like this!) Did Roxette or Savage Garden write this? Was this left over from a Natalie Imbruglia CD? (It turns out the offending parties are Michael Dennis Smith, Stefanie Ridel, Miriam Nervo and Olivia Nervo.) “Don’t waste the pretty on life/ ’Cause soon it’s gonna fly on by.” How did this new-age feel-good gunk make it on to the Rocker’s album?
Ding ding ding! We have a winner! “Scars” starts as a gorgeous cello-and-guitar ballad and then develops into a full band affair, with Iraheta’s heartbreaking croon delivering the devastating lyric, “You say don’t act like a child/ But what if it’s a father I need?” Move over, Rufus Wainwright. I might have a new favorite singer with serious daddy issues.
This is more like it. 1,000 points to producer Dreamlab for pairing Iraheta’s awesomely scratchy vocals with a U2-style arena rock arrangement. Lambert may have been given “One” to sing on “American Idol,” but this song suggests Allison should have had a shot with it instead.
» “D is for Dangerous”
It appears this kiss-off song will have an “A is for this, B is for that” format. Similar to “Just Like You,” the chorus sounds like it’ll get on my nerves, but hopefully the throaty verses will save the day. Judging from these 30 seconds, the song doesn’t have enough to keep me interested should Iraheta sing all the way to Z.
Iraheta’s rock and roll swagger is in full swing on this rock and roll shuffle, co-written by fellow realty star Dilana. While “Holiday” should be released as a single, it probably won’t since the same song with a nearly-identical arrangement is featured on Dilana’s new album hitting stores November 17. Whoops!
» “Still Breathing”
The beginning of the snippet sounds like a rock cover of Kevin Lyttle’s “Turn Me On,” and the verse made me think of Madonna’s “The Power of Goodbye.” And bridging the two is a gnarly guitar riff that makes this track too heavy for pop radio but not hard enough for rock stations. I’m praying the full song will sound more cohesive than this disjointed snippet does.
» “Trouble Is”
The album’s second ballad. This one’s got piano and a “Bittersweet Symphony”-esque strings section while a conflicted Allison sings, “Trouble is/ I like the taste so much and I can’t think straight/ People change/ And will you still be here after today.” I’m eager to hear how this one turns out.
» “No One Else”
Woot! This killer song, written by Pink, Kara DioGuardi and Greg Wells, is a radio-friendly standout. “There’s simply no one else I could lean on a thousand times,” Iraheta wails before delivering the soaring refrain, “You’re like no one else.” I could definitely hear Pink singing this tune, but I can’t hear Pink singing this as well. Allison, you’re like no one else.
» “Beat Me Up”
Hands down, this is the catchiest song ever written about getting beat up by your boyfriend. The violent love story’s racy (and controversial) lyrics are sure to grab attention, but it’s the irresistible melody and playful Kevin Rudolf production (hand claps that sound like slaps!) that will keep fans pressing repeat. A harmless-but-edgy romp or an irresponsible ditty that condones domestic violence? We’ll have to wait for the full track to find out. Regardless, it is an absolute tragedy that this wasn’t the lead single. It sounds like it will be the best (and most original) song on the album by miles. Poppy as all hell, but more dangerous than Mike Tyson at LAX. More please!
» “You Don’t Know Me”
The album closer is a pleasant Pink-ish rock tune where Allison tells listeners that she’s got much more on her mind. If you ask me, it’s an odd note on which to end her major label debut. “Yep, you just heard 13 tracks from me, but you actually know nothing about me. Stay tuned for my second album!” Is she using her sole co-writing credit to leave subliminal messages?
Overall, I worry that the album gets off on the wrong foot. It’s not until the one-two punch of tracks five and six (“Scars” and “Pieces”) that I start to dig her sound. And while there are other winners on the CD (especially “Beat Me Up” and “No One Else”), I hear more filler than I’d like to.
But these are just 30-second teasers. My issues with some of the other tracks could very well dissipate as soon as the full album hits stores December 1.
What do you guys think? Which snippets are your favorites? Do you disagree with my lukewarm reaction? Leave a comment below!