Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Jordin Sparks - "Tattoo"

I am not afraid to admit my love for American Idol. Aside from the merits of pre-manufacturing the next superstar (which doesn't bother me if the music is good and it's not as if it isn't a decades-old practice), the show is genuinely entertaining as television and one of the few shows that hooks you from the first week to the last. I root for a lot of the contestants to have successful careers after the show, but let's face it, some never live up to the hype. The expectations have been even harder for the contestants that make up the final two to become successful ever since Ruben and Clay proved that more than one person from a season can achieve commercial success. The pressure has gained even more with the runner-ups getting more accolades than any of the actual winners (Jennifer Hudson? Chris Daughtry anybody?). The progress of the 2007 final duo of Blake Lewis and winner Jordin Sparks will be examined more closely than any final two before them. With both of the 2006 final two's albums flopping (Taylor Hicks and Katharine McPhee), people will be speculating whether the show is relevant any more if back-to-back winners have mediocre album sales and whether the title of American Idol would even matter any more since it's been proven that all you need to have is the talent, a spot in the final 12 and a little luck to have a good career. The first one up to the plate is Jordin Sparks, who has an album slated for release in November and a single, "Tattoo", that is already out at radio. What's really notable about "Tattoo" is that it's the not the usual sappy, ear destroying ballad that final two contestants are forced to release, but a straightforward pop song ready to get toes tapping instead of radio dials switched. It's also the perfect song for Jordin to be introduced with. There's no getting around the fact that she's still a teenager, but the bubbly personality that she displayed on the show will likely not translate in to good music. If likeable personalities translated into album sales, there would be at least one American Idol contestant in the top 20 of the Hot 100 for every year of the week. "Tattoo" has the perfect balance of youthful appeal and edge that Kelly Clarkson showed during her first album. The song itself is a response to a former lover that Jordin can't escape like a, um, tattoo and with its icy synths and "Irreplaceable"-like drum pattern is a surprising and welcome turn from the American Idol camp. Game on, Blake.

Jordin Sparks - "Tattoo" (streaming)

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