We’re not an “American Idol” fan, but if all it ever did was introduce us to Jennifer Hudson (even though she was voted off in the seventh round), then it’s all been worth it.
Hudson, whose second album, "I Remember Me" is out today, has one of the best voices to come around in years. Some folks compare her to Aretha. No one matches the queen of soul in our book. For us, she’s more like Chaka Khan: her voice has a fluidity and vulnerability, but also a strength and heft.
First single, “Where You At,” written and produced by R. Kelly showcases all those abilities as we can almost feel her pain as she stands there in the freezing cold for someone who never shows, yet we know her indominable spirit will see her through. Unlike other divas, Hudson never resorts to cheap vocal tricks because she doesn’t need to.
The terrain here is a familiar one for R&B divas: tunes about heartbreak and love interspersed with inspirational songs about faith. It’s like going through the worst heartbreak and getting taken to church at the same time. On “I Got This,” Hudson knows that her troubles and worries will be taken care of by a higher power.
[More after the jump...]