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Published:February 7th, 2007 04:27 EST
Review of Katherine McPhee's Self-Titled Debut

Review of Katherine McPhee's Self-Titled Debut

By Maria Grella

Runner up to last season's American Idol, Katherine McPhee, has recently dropped her self-titled debut album.  Fans hoping to get the McPhee-ver will more likely get a mild cold; this is a luke-warm start for Katherine.

"Love Story" is the opening track and is a good, basic pop song with an R&B tinge.  Her first single from the album, "Over It", is one of those songs that at first listen isn't that great, but grows on you upon repetitive hearings. 

The third track is the most ridiculous one heard in a long time.  "Open Toes" is a hip-hop infused, fast paced song that no true vocalist would consider.  This contagious song is about, of all things, open toe shoes.  Which is more disturbing...the fact that it is extremely catchy and likeable or that it's lyrics are sung with serious conviction...has yet to be determined.  With lyrics like ", feet don't hurt, just a flirt, too cute in my open toes...put 'em on, put 'em on, let's go...", you decide.

"Home" brings the listener back to reality, as this slow ballad reminds us why Katherine McPhee made it far in the singing competition of American Idol.  This beautiful song was both a nice change of pace and yet a track that almost doesn't fit into this pop/r&b record.  Back to upbeat melodies, "Not Ur Girl" is attitude filled, complete with a forced giggle at song's end and purposeful misspelling of the English language.  "Each Other" slides back into a ballad, but McPhee seems to be holding back on the vocals. 

"Dangerous" is a good dance song, while "Ordinary World" is another beautiful ballad, with nice lyrics and is among the best vocals on the album.  "Do What You Do" is a typical R&B styled tune with a weak and unbelievable sultry vibe.  Another strong vocal performance is shown in "Better Off Alone".  "Neglected" and "Everywhere I Go" return to the sound found throughout most of the album, R&B and Pop.

McPhee has the ability to battle with the likes of Mariah Carey and Beyoncè, but this collection of songs barely scratches the surface.  American Idol's sweetheart, who won over crowds with her rendition of the classic "Somewhere Over The Rainbow", is almost wasting her chops on these over-produced pop tracks.  The ballads, where she shines, aren't much better, in that she seems to be holding back from the power her voice can easily produce.

Idefinitely has the ingredients needed for a good run in the music industry...voice, looks, and likeability.  What she needs to do is to figure out what style she can best thrive in, and just as the judges would tell her in the competition that started it all, song selection is extremely important, and greatly under-estimated.