I’ve never done an album review before, but I felt I had to after I wrote this post about the new album that season 9 winner of The Voice, Jordan Smith had just released. I received a comment from one of his fans on that post that said that the album was a disappointment. That the high notes and awesomeness from the show were missing. That he didn’t sound like himself. My reply was that I would have thought that the producers, David Foster and Stephan Maccio, would have continued to go with what worked for him on the show.
Now that I have listened to the album in full, I feel like I can comment a bit on it. To me, it pretty much picks up where the show left off. There are eight songs (out of twelve tracks) that are covers, or songs that have been done before by others. There are only a few upticks in tempo; most noticeably on the cover of Jess Glynne’s “Ain’t Got Far To Go”, whereas on the show he sung nothing but ballads. But no need to fear; the ballads are here, and like on the show, he sounds great with them.
Below, here is one of the few songs that isn’t (or I don’t believe it is) a cover. This is the first single from the album, “Stand In The Light.”
Count me among the ones that wished he would have done something to stretch out of his comfort zone during the show, but the public ate up what he did and he waltzed his way to victory. The album to me doesn’t veer too much from that script. And while there aren’t a lot of “high notes and awesomeness” to be found, I don’t think that if you are a fan of Jordan’s you will be all that disappointed with this album. For me, it’s a little too on-the-nose.
And while I think I can understand the commenter’s dissapointment, if you followed the show last season, I don’t really think he stretched too far away from what made people love him. I have to admit, though, I would think the single would be playing on the local radio station where I live, but I haven’t heard it yet. Maybe it’s not quite “pop” enough to break onto the playlist. But they’ve certainly played Lady Gaga’s “Til It Happens To You” and his song is in the ballpark with that, if not exactly the same stylistically or lyrically. Perhaps “Stand In The Light” might make it onto the playlist soon.
In summation, Something Beautiful is beautifully sung, but it is safe and doesn’t take a whole lot of risks. It sticks with what worked with Smith on the television show where he made his name. And that is fine, if that’s what you liked about him. If you liked him on the show, I think you will like this; unless, like my commenter, you want the awesome factor.
Review grade: C+