CD Review: Allison Iraheta “Just Like You”

Allison Iraheta was one of the runner up contestants on last season’s American Idol (2009). This young lady (she was only 10 in 2002 when American Idol premiered) brought a genuine rock edge to the show and it was sad to see her lose out to the likes of Adam Lambert (bizarre) and Kris Allen (yawn). Her debut CD “Just Like You” is out now. Sadly, I think a bona fide talent has largely been wasted, falling prey to the major label trend to bury everything under a wall of sound. The other major problem is the lackluster songs…you’d think with all the resources these corporations have they could afford something less bland. They seem to think that if you dress it up with strings or yet another layer of noise that it will somehow disguise the fact that the song was banal at the start.

They also don’t seem to know what to do with Iraheta. Is she going to do pop dance like Pink or the rock stuff that drew comparisons to Joan Jett and Pat Benatar? “Just Like You” does deliver on the rock stuff at times, but with an intense inorganic feel a la Kelly Clarkson or Avirl Lavigne. On the other hand, there is a lot of pop fluff the listener has to endure in-between the good songs.

The first two tracks are awful, which includes the schizophrenic single, “Friday I’ll Be Over U”. “Robot Love” is another electronic mess over top Gary Glitter‘s famous “Rock and Roll Part 1 (The Hey Song)”, overused at sporting events. The title track is a very good song, and is followed by the respectable “Don’t Waste The Pretty”, two tracks that begin to redeem the album. But then it steers down mediocre avenue once again for what seems like a torturous eternity until “Still Breathing”, where we can actually hear Iraheta‘s beautiful voice over some acoustic guitar for a little while before the ubiquitous distortion kicks into overdrive again. The trouble with “Trouble Is” – a fine example of what frustrates me about this record – is that it is a boring song to begin with that no amount of strings, vocals, or glossy production can hope to salvage. “No One Else” is much more compelling thanks to its memorable melody in the chorus. The album closes as badly as it began, with the ridiculous “Beat Me Up” – a horrible lyric set to a brain-numbing house beat and boring guitar riff, and aptly titled, “You Don’t Know Me”. I don’t feel like I got to know Iraeta on this record at all.

I sincerely hope Iraheta can rebound with a team that is better suited to let the majesty of her voice shine rather than burying it in senseless noise and wasting it on unexciting songs.

iPOD-worthy: 3, 4, 9, 11

Allison Iraheta on MySpace.

3 Comments

  1. Any credibility you had to stand in judgement of this great album went out the window when you stated that after “Don’t Waste the Pretty” the album “steers down mediocre avenue once again for what seems like a torturous eternity until “Still Breathing”, Within tracks 5-8 are the songs “Scars”, “Pieces”, “D is for Dangerous”, and “Holiday” MEDIOCRE? are you kidding me? I can sort-of understand how “Pieces” and “D” may not be your cup of tea, (they rock too) . However if you consider “Scars” and “Holiday” as anything but fantastic rock records then I question your ability to accurately review records for the buying public.

  2. I think the guy who reviewed this album is on crack or something. This is by far the best debut album I have heard from any past or present American Idol contestant. I do slightly agree with him somewhat on “FIBOU”, but every single song after that is just flat out solid! I will admit that I didn’t care much for “You Don’t Know Me” as well. If there are only one or two songs on the entire album that I don’t like quiet as much as all of the others, it’s “Friday I’ll Be Over U” & “You Don’t Know Me”. I also really like “Don’t Wanna Be Wrong” , which we can only find on her I-Tunes downloaded album. Overall, this cd is very solid. I give it a very solid 4 out of 5 stars atleast. I think the original reviewer is being far too critical in my opinion. Allison is going to be every bit as good as Kelly Clarkson, Pink, & Pat Benatar as she progresses through her career.

  3. The nice thing about opinions is that we all have them. If you read closely you will notice that, although Bill is not overly impressed with the album, he thinks she truly has potential. Being critical does not mean you are “on crack” for crying out loud. Being critical means you know somebody is capable of so much more.

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