Love Is – Ruben Studdard (2009)

June 11, 2009

love is - reuben studdard

I support the sophomore year American Idol winner 101%.  It may not seem that way  when you read some of the comments I am offering up on some of the tracks on his newest CD — but all in all this set was worth my hard earned cash and I would buy it again in a heartbeat. Reuben is still finding his way as an artist and very young in the industry, so I am expecting a lot more from him in the seasons and sets to come.

Here are the tracks on his latest CD of  love ballads released last month on  May 19, 2009.

Track List:

1. Together – This is apparently the first  single released from the CD. I am glad I had not heard it before I made the purchase because it is pretty MOR and reminiscent of the majority of songs on the  Lionel Ritchie CD that was just recently released. Listen to the promotional video to judge for yourself.

2. More Than Words – Cover of Extreme’s hit classic love song.  I repeat,  I love Reuben, but I am sorry to say that this cover reminds me of something he had to sing as an Idol contestant only because it was selected for him to sing — not because he loved the song.

3. Song For Her

4. How You Make Me Feel. This is one of my three fave on the CD and I think it would have made a fantastic first single release to grab attention in the Pop music world. It’s awesome. It makes me think that perhaps Ne-Yo would be the perfect writer/producer for Reuben to have to to get him some chart success.

5. Don’t Make ‘Em Like U No More

6. I Can’t Help it. Standard “karaoke” cover of the Michael Jackson classic.

7. Just Because.

8. My Love Is A Rock.

9. The Long and Winding Road. Another cover — this time of a Beatles classic. The arrangement is a bit interesting and has a few notes “tweaked” in the melody. I have listened to it  about a dozen times and can’t decide if I like it or not. Regardless  we all know it is a great song and Reuben has a great voice.

10. For The Good Times.  It seems that Reuben tried to channel Al Green’s hit cover of this Kris Kristofferson song. It’s ok for what it is, but I really wish Reuben would find himself and be himself and not attempt to emulate the folks he is covering. He is better than that.

11. We Got  Love (That’s Enough).

12. Footprints in the Sand.

Exclusive Bonus Tracks:

13. Someday We’ll All Be Free.  Now this cover, of the Donny Hathaway gem, is great!  I am not sure if I like it because I love the song lyric or Ruben’s interpretation of it — probably a little of both.  But this is another of the three songs that made this purchase worthwhile for me.

14. It’s Your Love.  And the BEST has been save for last. Like all of the songs on this set, production credit is given to Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, but this song has a third credit given to Mr. John Rich. Mr. Rich’s  involvement would of course explain the country music flavor this marvelous love ballad has.

Featuring, the prominent and melodic song stylings of backup singer Lauren Evans and a slamming organist accompanist in one Mr.  John Jackson,  this is far and away the best song on the CD IMHO: a perfect blend of voices, harmonies, instrumentation et al!

I vividly recall that when Reuben sang “Sweet Home Alabama,” a country rock anthem,  on AI that his performance was really on point. So a country flavor just might be his bag. Hey, after all, Ru is just a big ol’ southern country boy. See what I mean:

Ever since the purchase of this CD I have put Track #14 on repeat play during my long commute to work and am not tired of it yet. I only break from it to listen to the previous bonus track and track #4.

I became impressed with Mr. Rich when  watching the only reality show that I tolerate. It probably wouldn’t hurt Reuben to have Mr. Rich produce and entire album for him if this song is an example of  how he shapes Ruben’s talent . Simply awesome song.

I don’t believe it is the right thing to do when people digitize an entire CD and post it on YouTube. I only review CDs with the goal of sharing music I like, in hopes that you might make a good purchase or telling you what I didn’t like, so that you might save yourself a few bucks by not making a bad purchase.  Therefore I have been sharing less and less of the music here at EOINA and just providing  more of the Record Company Promotional videos to let you hear the music.

But this song (Track 14)   I just had to share above.  Hope you like it as much as I do.

Be sure to check out Ruben’s Official Site to see when he will be coming to your town.

Musically yours,

myblacksig

PS. I wish this one was included on this  CD of Love Ballads. Oh well maybe next time RU. I still  love you!

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