Jordin Sparks – I Am Woman (Listen)
I’ve been a big fan of Jordin since her Idol days, and No Air and Battlefield are among my favourite songs of the past few years, so I couldn’t wait to see what she would do next. Unfortunately, as her brilliant last album wasn’t a huge success, this inevitably meant she’d take a different approach for album three. This got me very worried, especially when I heard the first clip that was leaked of I Am Woman, which was quite underwhelming. Listening now to the song in full, I am much more impressed – it’s a feisty female anthem which Jordin brings to life with her powerhouse vocals. However, it is a little bit dated. It would have fit well on Christina’s Stripped album, and as great as that album was, it’s almost a decade old now! While I will still definitely be buying Jordin’s new album, I’m not sure if this will be enough to convince her more casual fans to do so.
Cody Simpson – On My Mind (Listen)
This song is a cross-breed of two of the best solo male pop songs of recent years, How Do I Sleep by Jesse McCartney and Just The Way You Are by Bruno Mars. There’s even a hint of Bleeding Love in parts. Because it’s so derivative it doesn’t instantly obsess me as those tracks all did, but I’m keen to give it time to resonate and find its own identity. Cody doesn’t have a very distinctive voice, which is down to autotune overuse, and is a shame as he’s actually Australian so would be able to give his tracks more individuality if he sang in an Aussie accent. No-one could possibly guess from his vocals here that he’s Australian. He does need to get away from the ‘Aussie Bieber’ tag (see if you can find any reviews or articles about him which don’t mention the Biebs), but pretending to be American is probably not the best way to achieve that.