Steve M. from ALBUQUERQUE, NM Reviewed on 11/1/2007...
I have to agree with the other reviewers -- this CD is a prime example of what NOT to do with a good singer. Typical generic fake R&B pablum -- you sure don't have to be black to sing this stuff. Aretha's worst was far better than anything on this CD. And the programmed drums and clapping are really irritating. Save your money or credits and get an Otis Redding CD. Whatever happened to HONEST music? Let's hope the "Over the Rainbow" single is better; her performance was certainly great on TV, and I normally don't even like that song.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Justin R. (vicromano) from HOLLEY, NY Reviewed on 2/2/2007...
She sounds like (insert name of any other popular r&b singer out now i.e. Christina Aguilera, Beyonce, Mary J. Blige). If you are looking for something new and original, this is not the place to look. She is a good vocalist, don't get me wrong, but you can tell that she was manufactured by the American Idol machine.
5 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
Suzanne B. (SuzyB) from NORTHPORT, NY Reviewed on 2/1/2007...
Not what I expected -- her voice is beautiful, but the songs sound too much like Mariah Carey's R & B songs -- there is one nice ballad ("Ordinary World") -- undoubtedly many other listeners will love the CD -- it just isn't my thing.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
The Best Pop Debut Album in Years
Jim in Nashville | Nashville, TN, USA | 02/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the best pop debut albums I've heard in years, "Katharine McPhee" has something for everyone: Catchy pop numbers, club anthems, power ballads, and powerful blues ballads.
Throughout, the strikingly beautiful runnerup to the talented (and underrated) Taylor Hicks in the 2006 American Idol competition is in top vocal form. By the time you are halfway through the album, she's delivered several potential hits, and given you more than your money's worth.
And the second half is as good as the first. In the process, she demolishes any suggestion that her talent is limited to singing syrupy ballads while her dad tears up in the front row.
1. "Love Story" is a rousing, if somewhat routine rocker that opens the show with a sign this singer has gone in a new direction.
2. "Over It," the co-released single, is an early candidate for the year's top pop song. With several solid hooks embedded in an intricate vocal arrangement, the song connects with countless thousands of teenage girls as Katharine declares her freedom from a dominant boyfriend. "I'm over your hands, and I'm over your mouth, trying to drag me down and fill me with self-doubt." The song is undeniably catchy.
3. "Open Toes" is a delightfully uninhibited celebration of airheaded teenage materialism, and the joys of --- shoe-shopping! Eminently danceable, the song isn't meant to be taken seriously, in fact I can't imagine why a nation of erudite reviewers hasn't at least speculated that Katharine is engaging in some self-deprecating humor. By the time she announces, almost deleriously, that "If I'm feelin down, then I go out, and shop 'til I drop everywhere that I want. Nothing feels better than spending my treasure on me, finally, I'm where I'm s'posed to be", I think the Kat *should* be out of the bag.
4. "Home" is a solid power ballad, and Kat sings the lower notes, which occasionally tripped her up on American Idol, with conviction and artistry. Like Mariah, but somehow more convincing.
5. "Not Ur Girl" is another of those "girl power" anthems ("I'm not your girl,and I'm not leaving with you just because you asked me to"), delivered with a driving rhythym.
6. "Each Other" is what (eons ago) used to be called a "cheek to cheek" song -- perfect for slow dancing, with a nice melody and nicely arranged background vocals.
7. "Dangerous" is a strong pop number. "He'll steal your heart away, and run away," she announces, lamenting that "I wish I knew what I know now, I swear it never would have went down". She doesn't ramp up the intensity quite as much as I'd like, but overall it's a solid effort.
8. "Ordinary World" is, in Katharine's hands, quite extraordinary. If you think her performance is routine, write down the lyrics, listen to the melody, and imagine Christina Aguilera singing it. Then listen again. You'll realize how much extra Katharine brings.
9. "Do What You Do" may seem contemporary, but to me it sounds like countless songs I danced to in packed clubs in the crazy 80's. I can't go back, but this song almost got me there. It's OK.
10. "Better Off Alone" is a blues ballad. Kat powers into it, very convincingly. Of all the songs in the album, this fits her vocal range best.
11. "Neglected" is one of the best songs on the album. Instrumentally and vocally, the arrangement is simply superb, and the chorus line has a hook that could make this one a hit single. The melody simply stays around, and won't leave. Also great "cheek-to-cheek" material.
12. "Everywhere I Go" is a Mariah Carey type number. But Mariah Carey is no McPhee. Carey has greater range and self-assurance, but McPhee delivers more of the elusive emotional connection that sells a song, rather like Karen Carpenter or, a generation before, Connie Francis. Something in the warmth of her voice, the timbre, gives her that special edge. Her youthful willingness to take chances makes her more unpredictable and occasionally erratic, but for this listener, vastly more appealing.
This album is a rarity. There are several potential hit singles, no truly bad songs, and only one, Dangerous, that sounds like the artist is holding back anything.
With her rare combination of unaffected likability, great pipes, almost supernatural beauty, and growing artistic range, Katharine McPhee is clearly positioned to become America's next pop superstar.
Flix | 02/25/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After watching Katharine McPhee on American Idol, I was expecting a broadway musical soundtrack for her first CD. After listening to the track samples, I was surprised at the variety of sounds on the CD. I bought it and have listened to it several times.
My breakdown, track by track:
Love Story -- RAT TAT TAT! This is your wake up call! This isn't gonna be the same Katharine McPhee you know and love from American Idol. This is a fun, old school track. One of my faves.
Over It -- reminds me of JoJo's Too Little Too Late but less bubble gum. Its radio friendly, so this is probably why the picked it as the first single.
Open Toes -- I like the music, but not lovin the lyrics. Maybe an anthem for girls with shoe addictions.
Home -- reminds me of a Christina Aguilerra ballad, but McPhee does a great job singing it. Nice ballad.
Not Ur Girl -- another fun dance track with an old school feel.
Each Other -- r&b track that reminds me of Mariah Carey. Good love song.
Dangerous -- Another retro dance track with a 90's sound. McPhee puts her sultry vocals to good use on this one. Love the "love ship" line.
Ordinary World -- NOW were talking! Finally -- the power ballad everyone's been waiting for. And McPhee doesn't disappoint. She could sing this song at her concerts for the rest of her career. One of the highlights of the CD.
Do What You Do -- sort of Gwen Stefani. Fun track I can hear remixed and played in clubs. McPhee in clubs -- who wouldve thought!
Better Off Alone -- nice Ballad by Austin Caroll. I heard his version on his myspace. McPhee's version is just as soulful. Great vocals. This song might be the best fit for her voice of all the songs on this CD. Sweet.
Neglected -- hypnotic. Another one of my favorites. Excellent r&b track. Again, great job on the vocals.
Everywhere I Go -- Hot track. Should be the next single. Killer vocals. Nice ending to the CD.
I would give the music 3.5 stars, bumped up to 4 for the great voice.There are a bunch of possible hit singles on this CD. If you like r&b and pop, this is a good buy. A great debut CD for Katharine McPhee.
Great Songs Great Voice!
Matthew Shaffer | 02/22/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I completely forgot about KM a few months after Idol ended and this cd has me totally in Love with her again. I pretty much like all the songs on the cd. The ballad ordinary world is amazing. I think Mcphee will be a big star!"
Kat, just DO WHAT YOU DO
MO | 01/30/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you're expecting songs about rainbows, this is NOT UR GIRL. With this new r&b sound, Kat's Idol fans might be looking at each EACH OTHER, feeling a little NEGLECTED. But if they can get OVER IT, this may be a new LOVE STORY with a new, hip soundtrack. But the image that the record label is pushing is DANGEROUS -- using every tacky cliche (though showing no... OPEN TOES). Kat, if they don't class it up for you, you're BETTER OFF ALONE. In the ORDINARY WORLD of pop music, Kat's great voice and the hot beats and glorious ballads on this CD stand out. Bring it HOME today. I, for one, have been humming the tunes EVERYWHERE I GO."
What a Wonderful Debut!!
L. Crater | Hershey, PA | 05/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have to admit that I loved Kat last year and really wanted her to win. However, listening to her wonderful debut cd, I'm kinda glad that she didn't. I think coming in 2nd gave her a little more freedom to make the kind of record that she wanted to make and hence brought out her true talent and personality. Her voice is so pure and raw that I just keep repeating such songs as "Home" and "Over It"...although her voice is phenomenal on all 12 tracks and really displays her vocal range on such faster hits like "Open Toes" & "Not Ur Girl". My favorites include: Home, Over It, Love Story, & Neglected - but all of them are catchy! No filler or fluff on this album...
Give this one a shot...it will be worth the price and you'll be thankful that you did. Congrats to Kat on coming out with such a fabulous album - I simply can't stop listening to it!!"