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Jennifer Hudson - Jennifer Hudson

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Genre: Genre: R&B & Soul / Artist: Jennifer Hudson / Audio CD released 2008-09-29 at RCA

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      22.12.2009 16:27
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      A solid album, but lacks cohesion due to the number of producers/styles.

      Jennifer Hudson's long awaited debut album comes almost four years after she first found fame on American Idol and two years after her Oscar-Winning role in hit movie Dreamgirls. There has certainly been a lot of pressure to deliver, with her voice being compared to the likes of Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin. Expectations have been high but does Jennifer manage to deliver?

      The CD opens with the first single, 'Spotlight', a song that tells the story of a woman trapped in a controlling relationship. "Is this a relationship fulfilling your needs as well as mine? Or is this just my sentence? Am I doing time?" Jennifer challenges a possessive boyfriend in her lyrics. It's a smooth, classy R'n'B song that has been immensely popular on UK radio. It is not anything groundbreaking but is one of the strongest songs to come out of it's genre for a long time. Most of all, it shows off Hudson's rich voice and is packed full of emotion without ever 'oversinging' (as many divas are criticised for doing).

      It is then followed by one of my favourite songs on the album - 'If This Isn't Love'. A polished, modern sounding song that is both emotionally fuelled and irresistibly catchy. This song demonstrates where Jennifer Hudson really shines - at being able to find a middle ground between good old-fashioned soul and modern R'n'B. If released as a single, this is a guaranteed smash.

      'Pocketbook' is a sassy number that shows allow Jennifer to showcase more of her personality. Produced by hit-maker Timbaland, the song features a playful beat-box and a memorable guest appearance by rapper Ludacris. It's not a fantastic song, it lacks much melody or substance to the lyrics, however is an enjoyable listen nevertheless. It's definitely a grower.

      'Giving Myself' is a little disappointing. It sounds a little dated and even the powerhouse vocal runs that appear towards the end of the song cannot hide the fact that it is merely a so-so ballad.

      Those expecting Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston style power ballads may be disappointed since while the voice is there, the songs are not.

      'What's Wrong' with an unnecessary guest spot from T-Pain is the definite track that will polarise opinions. For most, it reeks of unfulfilled potential as although Jennifer sounds beautiful, T-Pain's computerized vocals make it sound as though Jennifer is singing with a robot. It could've been a beautiful highlight had it featured a better male vocalist. T-Pain and ballads don't mix.

      'You Pulled Me Through' was written by the Queen of the Power Ballad, Diane Warren (writer of Because You Loved Me, I Don't Want to Miss a Thing, How Do I Live?, Unbreak My Heart to name but a few) and obviously, the expectations are through the roof. It is a satisfying song with solid production and as always, top-notch vocals. The lyrics may not be original but you can't help but appreciate the sentiment behind them: "The love that you gave me, is love that has saved me" Jennifer thanks on the song.

      A duet with Fantasia (American Idol Series 3 winner) shows emotions and vocals running high, as the two fight over a man. It's very reminiscent of Brandy's 'The Boy is Mine' or Whitney Houston's 'Same Script, Different Cast' however the result is very satisfying. It's great to hear so much personality and genuine chemistry on a song. At times, the vocals become a bit screechy as this laid back, soulful song gains momentum but it's a definite grower and is very memorable.

      'Can't Stop the Rain' is another Ne-Yo penned track that tells a story of the death of a friend in an accident, and Jennifer's feelings about the girlfriend he left behind. Chillingly she sings, "somewhere in the deepest darkest piece of my mind, I wish it was her that died that night". Lyrically, this is a highlight on the album because of the brutal honesty and passion.

      'Invisible' is a gem, quite simply. It feels like a follow-up to 'Spotlight', as Jennifer declares her independence after an unsatisfying relationship. Impeccable production and vocals as always.

      The album includes the hit song from her movie Dreamgirls, in which her character's story reaches a creshendo. 'And I Am Telling You (I'm Not Going)' has the most incredible vocals you will have ever heard. The power and emotion in her voice mean that she is not just singing but tearing the words from her soul. While some have argued that the inclusion of a Broadway song such as this one (a genre of songs which typically involve "over-singing") is a little out of place, I believe it would've been a travesty ever to leave such a song out. This is the moment on the album when Jennifer's voice will truly give you chills.

      As a bonus track, Jennifer's song 'All Dressed in Love' from Sex and The City (which she also starred in) is included. For me, this song is one of the best on the CD. It is such a feel-good song that is not diluted by rappers or hip-hop beats - it is pure straight up soul. It's very reminiscent of the classic hit 'Say A Little Prayer' and is brimming with personality and fun.

      Overall this album is hit and miss. While Jennifer's irrefutable talent makes for a good debut, often many mid-tempo and forgettable R'n'B ballads do not do her justice. Considering the album took 2 years to make and was crafted by Clive Davis (the man responsible for the music of Whitney Houston, Leona Lewis and Alicia Keys) you can't help but feel under whelmed by the choice of material. The album shines when Jennifer sings more pop-orientated songs (If This Isn't Love, Spotlight) and more soulful numbers (All Dressed in Love) but the album drags in the middle when the inundation of hip-hop producers make for too many cooks spoiling the broth.

      It certainly not a bad album, that grows on you with every listen. However it will require patience and a broad taste in music to fully appreciate this record.

      NOTE: Also posted on Havenforum.co.uk

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      • More +
        12.02.2009 07:24
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        Great debut.

        **Introduction**

        After losing her brother, sister and nephew after they were shot dead by her sisters ex, Jennifer Hudson has received support from the media and her fans who have sent messages of support during the toughest time of her life so far. One thing that can help her move on from this terrible time is her career in music and films. The star of Dreamgirls released her album just weeks before the members of her family were tragically shot dead but the American Idol finalist has experienced success with her self titled debut album which she recently received the Grammy for best R&B album for.

        **Jennifer Hudson**

        Jennifer Kate Hudson was born in Chicago, Illinois on 12th September 1981. She entered American Idol in the third series and Prior to American Idol, Hudson had worked as a singer and actor aboard cruise ships. She impressed the judges with her performances but was voted out before the final three where Diana DeGarmo came second and Fantasia Burino was crowned the winner. Hudson however has become the most well known since the show and starred alongside Beyonce Knowles in Dreamgirls.

        **The Album**

        Released on 29th September Jennifer Hudson's debut album has already sold 500,000 copies worldwide aswell as her Grammy award for the album she had also been nominated for another three awards. The album features fine production from the likes of Timbaland, Robin Thicke, T-Pain, Tank and Neyo amongst others. The albums first single "Spotlight" was co produced by Stargate and Neyo. She releases her second single on 13th February 2009 which as I write this is (Tomorrow) on Friday. Despite some low reviews she has had plenty of positive reviews.

        1.) Spotlight

        Jennifer Hudson gets us under way with The first single on the album, This is an uptempo track with a catchy beat and some fantastic vocals from Hudson. Although this is an uptempo track some of her vocals are reminiscent of a ballad like vocal style which works well on this particular track. Gets the album Off to a very good start.

        2.) If This Isnt Love

        This is the second single from the album and has a Beyonce like feel. This track is written by Theron Thomas, Terry Thomas and Brian Kennedy. I love the way she moves through the track showcasing her fantastic vocal range and power. the drum sequence works really well as it changes throught the course of the track. She hints at her vocal power on this track.

        3.) Pocketbook ft Ludacris

        This is a fresh funky cut featuring Ludacris. The similarity with Beyonce also crops up on this track with very similar vocal delivery. This track has elements of Justin Timberlake like beat boxing which adds a great effect and Ludacris' rap only starts in the last minute of the song and his rapid fire rapping adds a fine touch on the track.

        4.) Giving Myself

        This is a beautiful piano led ballad which showcases Jennifer Hudson's vocal ability. She shows moments of Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston like vocals and this track shows that without a doubt she has a voice that is capable of giving her a career as huge as those artists. This is a fantastic ballad about commiting to someone and giving them your all.

        5.) What's Wrong (Go Away) ft T-Pain

        This track starts gently and T-Pain opens up with a Vocoder touched vocal similar to Neyo. The problem with this is that it goes on throught the track which is probably takes away from the potential of this track. The way it is What's wrong (go away) is a very good track but a little more tweaking and it could be much better. Jennifer's on top form again.

        6.) My Heart

        This has a thumping beat which combines well with the piano to create a nice soundstage for Jennifer's vocals. This is a great ballad which works well with the different beat than usual for a ballad. Her voice moves well through the lyrics and she often hints at how powerful her voice can be. Another great track from the album.

        7.) You Pulled Me Through

        This track sounds like it could have been released as an American Idol winners debut. It has that kind of live feel. I like the electronic production which is a key to the background of this track. Her voice again moves through the vocals superbly and makes this a very good track indeed. It keeps the quality of the album going.

        8.) I'm his only woman ft Fantasia Burino.

        This reminds me of Same Script, Different Cast by Whitney Houston and Deborah Cox. The format of the two songs is about each woman telling the other that they are with the other woman's man. I really love the Whitney Houston and Deborah Cox take on this subject but this take is excellent too but the music on the Whitney track tips the balance in it's favour.

        9.) Can't stop the rain

        The beat carries on the similarity with Beyonce Knowles as it sounds similar to some of the beats on the second disc of her latest album. In my opinion This track is about not being able to stop the pain you feel. A very flowing track which leads into Jennifer's vocals soaring with power and emotion towards the end. Another fine track.

        10.) We Gon' Fight

        Another ballad here but this one has a Gospel feel which sounds a little like the phenomenal U Saved Me from R Kelly's Happy People/U Saved Me album from 2004. The Piano especially is very similar. This track is not quite as the R Kelly track mentioned but is a more than respectable track with a great fourth quarter where her vocals soar like Deborah Cox.

        11.) Invisible

        This track starts with gorgeous piano and then her vocals comes in, Her voice is gentle and emotive, the backing vocals come in and then the beat joins the party. This is another great track that moves along superbly. This track seems to be about standing up for yourself in a relationship and saying what you feel. A fine track that would be superb if a little longer than the 3 minutes 42 seconds that it is.

        12.) And I'm telling you, I'm not going

        This is a song she performed in Dreamgirls and you can tell it was featured in a film as it has such a fantastic epic feel. This is an incredible version of this classic torch song. Her voice really shows what she can do and this is up there with the best on the album. A fantastic musical backing completes the superb feel of this classic song.

        13.) Jesus Promised Me a Home Over There

        This track has a similar feel as the previous track with a fantastic Gospel twist. She produces a stunning vocal performance on this Gospel standard. She has an incredible talent for the way she moves through the lyrics almost effortlessly. This track features a superb emotive musical backing and Jennifer Hudson's voice shines throught the track.

        **Overall**

        She proved she could hold her on with Beyonce Knowles in Dreamgirls and has since proved that she is a very capable solo singer if that was ever in doubt. There are three standout tracks on this debut album, they are Giving Myself and her incredible performances of the classics Jesus Promised Me a Home Over There and And I'm telling you, I'm not going. There are no bad tracks on the album and the rest of the tracks all have great appeal. She has improved since American Idol and on vocal ability alone she is the best female of American Idol. I can't wait for her next album to see if she can keep it up. If she can then the sky really is the limit.

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        • More +
          02.01.2009 21:11
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          It should have been better, but a pleasant album

          My sister got given this CD for Christmas and I've stolen it after watching the magnificent Dreamgirls. I have no idea what to expect, as I know it will not be what I have heard on Dreamgirls, even though this is the sort of music that suits her voice the best.

          -------------------------------------
          Who is Jennifer Hudson?
          -------------------------------------

          Hudson is an American singer and actress and first became known on American reality tv show American Idol where she was kicked off half way through the live finals of Season 3. However she went on to star in the motion picture Dreamgirls, and won a numerous amount of awards and even the best award an Oscar.

          This album was released in September 2008 and lets see if it lives up to her role in Dreamgirls:

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          Track List
          ----------------

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          Track 1- Spotlight
          -------------------------------------

          This is one of the songs I've heard before, I remember watching the video and at the start of the song she talks about a controlling guy on the phone to a friend. I think this is a good song with a good beat, but she doesn't really let loose like I would expect, it almost becomes a bit too RnB and not enough power house, which for me this is what this girl is best at, she almost sounds like she's being stopped from going too powerful.

          However I really like this song, I'm not usually a fan of RnB but I really think the beat of the song alongside her voice works really well, she could have got a bit more powerful on the higher notes, but she never really does just let loose even when she has a chance.

          A really catchy song and you can tell why it was the first to be released as a single and why it did so well, it's a really beautiful song with a great beat.

          Rating: 9/10

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          Track 2- If This Isn't Love
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          When I first heard this I cringed, like I said before I'm not a huge fan of RnB and I can hear too much of my best mates kind of music (crap in my opinion) coming through, I know some people like people like NeYo and Chris Brown, but I don't think artists that sing through their nose sound very good, and Jennifer seems to be following they're style here.

          This is a good track however, pleasant to listen too but just way too RnB and dancey for my liking, now where are the ballads and the powerhouse voice that I have come to know.

          Rating: 6/10
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          Track 3- Pocketbook
          -------------------------------------

          Really disappointed, this track is awful. This is the sort of track you hear on the radio and turn over, the beat boxing in the background is good, however her voice is not up to the power you would expect and the song is just produced awfully. I don't even know if the lyrics are any good, I was struggling to listen as it really didn't go well together.

          The whole song isn't very listenable I have to say, however like I keep repeating, this is not my kinda music, so I'm sure people who like RnB music will like this song, however for me, it's not got a great beat and her voice is not very powerful, these are two things I look for in a good song.

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          Track 4- Giving Myself
          -------------------------------------

          Here we go, this is what Jennifer sings best in my opinion. This song is really beautiful, it sounds almost acoustic and it's very slow, and Jennifer doesn't let herself let go too powerful with the vocals but it's just enough. It's a gorgeous song which is produced beautifully, the beat in the background really works with the rest of the song, particullay her voice which is just amazing.

          A really pretty track, and the first one that doesn't have the RnB style behind it but the style of music that I think makes Jennifer's voice shine when she sings it, she's better with this ballads as she has such control over her voice and she is able to belt out when the song calls for it and quietens her voice when needed. A very talented singer and a beautiful track to match.

          Rating: 10/10

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          Track 5- What's Wrong?
          -------------------------------------

          I have no idea who T-Pain is or anything, but he's just like Chris Brown, a very nassaly singer and sounds way too much like a woman to be good, he really does sound awful and I really struggled to concentrate on Jennifer's voice but it's ruined by this woman sounding singer.

          I think Jennifer's voice is drowned out by this T Pain guy, but not in a good way, they don't work well together and it's just painful throughout, I make myself listen to each track to give them the proper review and I really did struggle with this track as it was very painful and just didn't work in my eyes.

          Rating: 0/10

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          Track 6- My Heart
          -------------------------------------

          I have never understood RnB, I have always thought it to be just like this song, a fantastic singer with some dude talking over the top of it, and to me this doesn't sound very good, however this track wasn't too bad.

          It won't go on my IPod for sure, but it was pleasant to listen to and Jennifer's voice is very good and very powerful and really a joy to listen too. I realy do like the beat at is very echoy and makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up, however it was ruined by that weird guy going 'Yeah' and breathing every now and then, is it just me or does really sound as ridiculous as I think it does.

          Rating: 4/10

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          Track 7- You Pulled Me Through
          -------------------------------------

          We're back to a brilliant ballad by Jennifer, this song starts off acoustically and then builds up. I think the beat to this track is just brilliant and Jennifer's voice is amazing, it's not drowned out by some guy saying 'Yeah' everynow and then, it was just burely the beat the melody and Jennifer's voice, which a song should be.

          The song is beautiful, really pleasant to listen to and her voice is just amazing, they bring some violins I believe into it near the end and it really does sound very goosebumpy, it's very powerful and very nice to listen to and it does make up for the previous two disappointments, I just hope she doesn't follow in the previous two footsteps with the rest of the album and sticks with what she does best.

          She has an amazing powerhouse voice and she really does show it off on this song, I have heard better and I do expect better, but it's still a very nice song to listen to and well worth checking out.

          Rating: 9/10

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          Track 8- I'm His Only Woman (feat Fantastia)
          -------------------------------------

          This song is a phone call between Jennifer Hudson and Fantastia who beat her to the post in Season 3 of American Idol, but I was expecting a brilliant song as these two are fantastic singers, two very powerful singers so I was expecting something amazing and despite the lame phone call bit at the start it really was fantastic.

          Jennifer starts off the 'phone call' and is just amazing and then Fantasia joins in with her almost Macy Gray kind of sound, I even remember Simon Cowell calling her Donald Duck on Helium once and that's a perfect description for her voice, it's very good, but unique.

          Jennifer is the more powerful of the two and she really does take the song away from Fantastic, she's a lot more powerful and her voice works better for power ballads like this one, when Fantasia works better with RnB songs.

          Rating: 8/10

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          Track 9- Can't Stop The Rain
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          Apparently this was originally by that nasally guy NeYo and my friend was saying that his is better, but I'm sure I'll think differently. This song has a very good beat to it, however I'm not a fan, I don't know why as her voice is amazing within the song, but it's not my kind of music and it just doesn't work for me.

          Her voice is very good and is the beat so that's why the rating for this track is higher than it should be, but for me this song is just ok, nothing special.

          Rating: 7/10

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          Track 10- We Gon' Fight
          -------------------------------------

          I love the beat in the background, every now and then they'll be this great drum beat on the symbals and it really sounds brilliant. This is a unique song as I think it'll appeal to a lot of people as it's still RnB but it's very much a ballad and works so well with her voice which is so well controlled within this track.

          A gorgeous song with an amazing beat, I think this is one of the best on the album and really does sound very good alongside her voice which as always is powerful and works amazingly well with the production of the song.

          Well worth checking out, her voice is amazing as is the rest of the song. Really well produced. Near the end she really lets go and is just amazing.

          Rating: 10/10

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          Track 11- Invisible
          -------------------------------------

          We get another power ballad from Jennifer and from the first note I thought I was going to love it, and I did, until she hit the chorus and for me that ruined it, it's not bad it's listenable, but her voice doesn't sound real, I think they must have used a synthesiser or something but from then on I find myself becoming quite bored with the song as it turns from a power ballad to an okay RnB song.

          I was quite disappointed with this track, mainly because it started off brilliantly however as it went on it was just arlight, her voice was amazing as always but this song should have been better.

          Rating: 7/10

          -------------------------------------
          Track 12- And I Am Telling You
          -------------------------------------

          I didn't realise this was on the album, now I'm happy. I adore this song and I think this is the song that Jennifer shows everything she has in her. This is the song that got her noticed in the film Dreamgirls and she obviously liked it too as she put it on her album, this song is so powerful and beautifully sung by Jennifer.

          I think this song is amazing as it sounds like a lot of songs put together as the pace and tone of the song changes throughout, and Jennifer manages to sing it without a care in the world, you can hear so much emotion behind her voice and you can almost tell it was made for the stage when you listen to it. A fantastic song and powerfully sung by Jennifer Hudson.

          Rating: 10/10

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          Track 13- Jesus Promised Me A Home Over There
          -------------------------------------

          I'm sure a lot of people will think of lost loved ones when listening to this song as she's talking about loss and at the moment, I'm sure this song is very poignant for her as she just lost 3 family members to a brutal murder. A gorgeous track and amazingly sung by Jennifer who has the ability to put so much emotion into each of her songs is just amazing.

          I really think this is one of my favourites on the album, but it got me quite emotional, as it's supposed to be, beautiful is the main word for it, just beautiful. She lets loose towards the end of the song and it really does make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

          Rating: 10/10

          -------------------------------------
          My Opinion
          -------------------------------------

          There are some amazing songs on this album, it was a real pleasure to see And I'm Telling You on the album as this is one of my favourite songs, but it's outshone by quite a few other tracks on the album.

          Despite me giving quite a few of the tracks 10/10, the album is nothing special. It's nothing to scream and shout about, it's just a good album by an amazing singer. This is probably why I haven't giving it a higher rating, Jennifer is an amazing singer and I really expected so much more than this album gave, as none of the songs really made me go wow, I want this to be played on repeat all day long.

          Some of the songs are just amazing, I think I have rated 7 out of 13 tracks 8/10 or over and this is amazing considering how harsh I am on RnB artists and albums. Most of these tracks are all ballads like I expected from Jennifer Hudson, I really think she outdid herself on some of the tracks but I think she could have done better, especially if she is given the right material, which in some cases she isn't on this album.

          -----------------
          The Voice
          ------------------

          As I said earlier Jennifer was kicked out of season 3 of American Idol half way through the live shows to be beaten by her co singer in I'm His Only Woman, but she is the one that has made it big from that Season. She was hired to play Effie White in Dreamgirls and showed off how big her vocal range actually is and how well she can truly sing, if she is given the right songs that is.

          Her voice is magnificent, one of the best powerhouse voice there is around and I think she doesn't get the recognition she deserves for the Dreamgirls kind of music, most people only know her from her song Spotlight, which I think was the only song she released off the album before she had to face quite horrible deaths in her family.

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          The Songs
          ------------------

          Okay, I hate quite a few of the songs on this album, in the history of me reviewing albums I don't think I've ever given a song a 0/10 but one of them was just so painful to listen to it deserved that rate. I don't think I enjoyed any of the songs that were featuring someone else but the one with Fantastia, this is because the others were way to RnB for my liking and really didn't work. As I said earlier, someone going Yeah and breathing heavily through the song, not my kinda music.

          Some truly amazing songs however none that really spell 'hit' for me, I think she could have done so much better but was given the wrong songs to sing as none of them were really good hit songs. I think the last song Jesus Promised Me A Home Over There, gives me goosebumps everytime I hear it, it really is powerful and probably the best on the song, in terms of singing.

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          Final Opinion
          ------------------

          I think this album is good, but due to the fact it is two very different styles of music put into one CD, I think it's going to be very rare to find one person who likes both RnB and Ballads which this album consists off. The first half of the album is mainly RnB songs whilst the rest is ballads.

          For me the album is 50/50, it was a joy to listen to and a joy to review however it could have been a lot better and I don't think it will appeal to everyone. Check out some of the songs below and hopefully you'll like them.

          ------------------
          Youtube Links
          ------------------

          http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=V3lTXB4t2so : And I'm Telling You
          http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=W0EEAS6PldY&feature=related : Jesus Promised Me A Home...
          http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=W0EEAS6PldY&feature=related: Spotlight

          ==Prices==
          Amazon.co.uk = £7.97
          Play.com = 6.99
          (C) Hope this helps. Kirsty xx

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          • More +
            02.12.2008 16:58
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            Great album

            Wow, Jennifer Hudson is one lucky person! Since her first appearances on the Xfactor, her career has really taken off with a fantastic music career and acting with roles and guest starring roles in various movies and with this her debut album 'Jennifer Hudson' doing really well, she is one lucky lady!

            My favourite track which is also a hit on radio here and is the great dance, RnB and Soul track is 'Spotlight' which really showcases her great voice and vocals with high notes and a good flow to her voice, the track also has a nice upbeat tune and soundtrack is one of those tracks that you do not get tired of listening to as the lyrics are great and have a feel good factor.

            My other fave tracks on the album include 'We Gon' Fight' and 'If This Isn't Love'. All the other tracks on the album are great, the soundtracks and lyrics are fantastic. You only need to look up and listen to 'Spotlight' to know what I am talking about... fabulous!

            She is a talented artist and shows great versatility and diversity with her ability to work with many different artists including Fantasia, Ludacris, T-Pain in various tracks on this album.
            RnB & Soul fans will really enjoy this as well as other listeners.

            ©marina321 Dooyoo December 2008; Ciao.com December 2008; Ciao.co.uk December 2008

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          • More +
            05.11.2008 16:49
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            Jennifer Hudson's debut album

            "Jennifer Hudson" is the self-entitled debut album from the former American Idol contestant, who lost out to Fantasia. In light of the recent tragedies of her mother, brother and nephew all being killed, I thought I should show some support for the "Dreamgirls" actress.

            1. "Spotlight"

            This was the first big single for the singer and has her performing on some beats by Stargate and Ne-Yo. With ths combination, you will be aware that they are able to come up with some perfect beats, relavent to what it's all about in today's R&B.

            **Four Stars**

            2. "If This Isn't Love"

            This is quite a predictable ballad by the singer, and has her come out with something whcih essential is quite cliched, but was well-performed. I can't say that I liekd the song that much, but her performance was amazing.

            **Two Stars**

            3. "Pocketbook"

            After hearing this, I knew I had to listen to the whole of the album as this tune is a banger of a track. It is bilt on the production from Timbo and Jim Beanz, and the latter performs an amazing beatbox performance to get you moving. i can't say that I took in much that Hudson sang in it, but Luda's contribution made me get involved once again as you hear some of his well-known jovial lines of raps.

            **Five Stars**

            4. "Giving Myself"

            Thsi one was written and produced by th R&B singer, Robin Thicke, and has him give Hudosn some idyllic matierla to work with as she is selfess, and sings of how she must sacrifice in order to make her relationship work, and she is fully-committed to do so for the one she loves.

            **Three Stars**

            5. "What's Wrong"

            On this one you get a duet between Hudson, and a surpsing choice in T-Pain. Obviously he comes with his auto-tuned voice as they sing together about how their relationship isn't working, but are unable to work out the cause of its deterioration. I didn't expect it to go as well as it did

            **Three Stars**

            6. "My Heart"

            On this one you get Jennifer on some eavy beats from the superstar producer Polow Da Don, it gives her he perfect setting to get into more nice R&B, with a hard edge to give her some freedom in the content of the song. For those who liekd "Spotlight", this is one for you.

            **Four Stars**

            7. "You Pulled Me Through"

            Although you get ballads all the way through the album, and I enjoyed most of them, this one was just not doing it for me, and although you were given a sample of her Soulful energy, I wasn't really feeling it that much.

            **One Star**

            8. "I'm His Only Woman"

            I really liked the setting for this as you get a phone conversation between Jennifer Hudson and her former opponent, Fantasia as they discover that they are both in love with the same man. They work off the energy which they both come with and passionately sing about how their love cannot of had room for another to have been brought in at some stage.

            **Three Stars**

            9. "Can't Stop the Rain"

            As with the single "Spotlight", this one is also produced by Ne-Yo and Stargate, who are closley assicaoted with his work. This is a gentle R&B song for the artists, but it didn't really do a lot for me as it was all on pretty much the same level. It sounded liek a simple filler to me.

            **Two Stars**

            10. "We Gon' Fight"

            All of Jennifer's power in projecting emotions through the medium of singing comes through on this one as she belts out a song t show her passion to make a love last, despite all the set-backs it may face from outside sources. It is a strong one, and you can't ignore it.

            **Four Stars**

            11. "Invisible"

            On this one Jennifer sings of how she wishes to finally break free from all the restriction which had been placed upon her to fianlly be noticed and accknowledged by thse around her. Thsi powerful ballad certainly does what is required to make her stand out amongst others and bring her out of the 'invisibilty', which held her back in the past.

            **Three Stars**

            12. "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going"

            Originally sung by Jennifer Holliday, this is one of the songs from the "Dreamgirls" muical, and featured as part of the soundtrack to the 2006 remake. This a powerful one, and although not a match for the first one, it is a strong way to end the album by showing where her career started off.

            **Four Stars**

            For me, I have to say that I was surprised by how much of the album I actually enjoyed, because when I just went through the first few seconds of each song intially, I was annoyed that the single "Spotlight", and street jam, "Pocketbook" had mislead me into thinking this was an R&B album, whereas, much of it consists of ballads, but I found that her strength at sining far out-weighed the fact that I don't tend to get into ballads.

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          • Product Details

            Disc #1 Tracklisting
            1 SPOTLIGHT
            2 IF THIS ISN'T LOVE
            3 POCKETBOOK FEATURING LUDACRIS
            4 GIVING MYSELF
            5 WHAT'S WRONG (GO AWAY) FEATURING T-PAIN
            6 MY HEART
            7 YOU PULLED ME THROUGH
            8 I'M HIS ONLY WOMAN FEATURING FANTASIA
            9 CAN'T STOP THE RAIN
            10 WE GON' FIGHT
            11 INVISIBLE
            12 AND I'M TELLING YOU I'M NOT GOING
            13 JESUS PROMISED ME A HOME OVER THERE
            14 ALL DRESSED IN LOVE (BONUS TRACK)