I am a big Kimberley Locke fan…her 2nd season American Idol run (where she came in third behind Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken) was grand and her first CD had some fine moments…and so I had high hopes for her second collection.
It’s not bad…Locke has a strong, enormously appealing voice…but it’s front-loaded with too much faceless, paint-by-numbers pop that doesn’t linger long after the music stops playing.
The first three cuts…”Change”, “Any Which Way”, and “Trust Myself”…are all soaring pop-rock ballads complete with generic guitar riffs (the music occasionally threatens to swamp Locke but she is, for the most part, able to hold off that particular threat without allowing her voice to resort to screaming to be heard) and earnest vocals. It’s almost like
“Supawoman” throws the contemporary R&B curve and, again, it’s okay but not really anything we haven’t heard a hundred times before. The dance number “Doin’ it Tonite” is pleasant enough while it’s playing but in the end it’s unremarkable and unmemorable. “Friend Like You”, on the other hand, has a fairly tight hook that keeps the guitars down in the mix and it really works.
Things pick up nicely on the second half. The big Faith Hill-style ballad, “Fall”, is very nicely sung and the mid-tempo groove on “Talk About Us” is sweetly funky.
“You Don’t Have to Be Strong” has the most passionate, soulful vocal on the disc and the bouncy, hopeful “Everyday Angels” has an appealing gospel flavor. The CD wraps up with a nod to her AI days with a fine cover of “Band of Gold”.
Based on a True Story is a good, but not great, record. Here’s hoping that
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More MKW Blogstuff: Bread and Roses