Like Taylor Hicks, Katharine McPhee left the songs from her post-American Idol single (the sweetly soaring “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and the insipid “My Destiny”) off her debut CD. It was probably a wise move as neither of those tunes would have really fit into the overall vibe of this CD.
Katharine McPhee finds our Ms. Kat (yeah, she…along with Chris Daughtry…got the lion’s share of the handful of AI votes I chose to make last year) applying her rich, supple, compelling voice to a set of catchy R&B flavored pop songs (such as the feisty “Love Song”, the lilting, mid-tempo “Each Other”, and the wry first single “Over It”), dance floor ready jams (the softly-propulsive “Not Ur Girl” and the almost-funky “Do What You Do”), and yearning ballads (the aching “Home” and “Ordinary World”, either of which would have easily garnered a standing ovation from an American Idol audience, and the soulful “Better Off Alone”.) She doesn’t really challenge herself…either with her song choices or her vocals…but she seems extremely comfortable in the groove she sets for herself and she comes across as relaxed and focused throughout the record.
The songs on this disc are firmly in the vein of music made by female pop stars like Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, and Beyonce (you can easily imagine any of those ladies performing these same songs without changing the somewhat generic beats, lyrics, and arrangements one little bit) but, that said, McPhee acquits herself admirably (managing, for the most part, to rein in the vocal histrionics that the aforementioned singers often succumb to and to let the richness and sweet earnestness of her voice bring the songs home.)
There’s nothing particularly groundbreaking here but this is an assured, entertaining debut CD that heralds the coming of another comely, talented platinum-selling pop star…and hey, that’s all good by me.