Sarah Hudson– Naked Truth (EMI)
Sarah Hudson has a lot to be thankful for and apparently, a lot to live up to. Although only a mere twenty-three years old, this in-your-face ingénue is different. She already has your attention and she doesn’t have to fight to get noticed. Instead she has the opposite problem, all eyes are on her. In fact, with her father, formerly one half of a successful 70’s pop duo, The Hudson Brothers, and her cousin being on-screen darling Kate Hudson, it’s hard to see what machine this self-proclaimed pop rock rebel is really raging against.
We’ve heard it all before. Bijou Phillips wailed about not being wanted on “When I Hated Him (Don’t Tell Me)” and even Chastity Bono threw her ‘woe-is-me, famous but twice removed’ hat into the ring with her now defunct band, Ceremony. So what makes Sarah Hudson’s attempt at individuality all that special? From one listen of the Naked Truth it seems, not much.
The title track is a fun, yet serious tune in the vein of a Jill Sobule or Melissa Lefton; two other quirky pop princesses that never fully found a foothold in the pop industry. “Girl On The Verge” meanwhile, belongs in a Lindsay Lohan driven vehicle or perhaps Clueless ten years past or even further removed, the Go Go’s two decades too late. Most of the songs on Naked Truth at least remain true to the title; serving up a raw approach to sad, real life topics with a surprisingly off-putting, upbeat delivery.
But before, long the whole ‘red headed stepchild, feel bad for me’ vibe starts to wear thin. By the time we get to “Strange” things downshift from self-deprecating to downright embarrassing, fast. “I’m a little bit strange, but here’s the twist. I might even get stranger than this,” coos Hudson.
The standout track crown is still awarded, however, to “I Know”, a timeless tune that at moments is part Madonna with the spirit of rock sisters Heart mixed in. This song might’ve even had a home with Britney, but on Hudson’s otherwise quirky collection, it somehow seems out of place. On “I Know” Hudson steps out of the peculiar girl gone wrong box and succeeds.
Now if only Naked Truth contained a little more meat and a little less monotone, we’d all be singing a different tune.