Jennifer Hudson Cements Album Release Date and Offers Album Sampler
Jennifer Hudson has released the album cover for her next album JHUD along with a sampler to whet our appetites for her next collection. On the cover, Hudson stands triumphantly against a Chicago skyline. This serves as a formal introduction to the new Jennifer Hudson that we’ve come to know as of late. She’s slimmed down, her hair is clipped, and her style is brash.
These changes also manifest themselves in her music. Gone is the traditional diva styling; now Ms. Hudson has edge. For better or worse, she’s current.
“Walk It Out” ★★★
The sampler opens with her second single, the Timbaland produced and assisted “Walk It Out.” The song is pretty potent on its own, but I can’t shake the feeling that it would be better suited for someone with a less powerful voice. Hudson has to walk that same line that Christina Aguilera has always had to walk. Their voices are so strong that they don’t perform well on these mid-range tracks. It inevitably sounds like over-singing.
“I Can’t Describe (The Way I Feel)” feat. T.I. ★★★★
At first listen, I hated this song. But in hindsight, that was mostly because it was such a departure from her prior work. “I Can’t Describe” has that new trademark Pharrell sound that you hate to love and love to hate. And even though she was in danger of singing this one as well, Hudson keeps her voice in check. The feature from T.I. even seems appropriate. It’s a wonder that this one didn’t catch on.
“Dangerous” embodies the direction that Jennifer Hudson should be moving in her career. Since Ms. Hudson’s voice in reminiscent of disco divas like Donna Summer, the song’s disco vibe suits her well. The hardness of her voice, which can at times be off-putting, is balanced well over the hard-hitting beat and synthesized tones.
“He Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” ★★★
I would have never described her delivery as “breathy” before, but she becomes a sultry songstress on “He Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere.” The track puts me in the mind of the musical revolution Michael Jackson created with his Thriller album. It doesn’t sound like anything else on radio right now. The bass is heavy, the groove is laid-back, and Hudson even gets a chance to let her voice off of its leash.
“It’s Your World (Featuring R. Kelly)” ★★★★
I absolutely hate that she featured R. Kelly on this track. He brings absolutely nothing to the song, and if he weren’t featured, I would have given it 5 stars. “It’s Your World” is just a winner. It’s like an old school roller rink track, and assuming that she is putting together a video for this song, that is where it should be set. I want to see the disco ball, strobe lights, scrunchy socks, and neon clothes. This song embodies all of that in a manner that is impeccably authentic.
Jennifer Hudson has gone through an evolution, and she seems to be fully embracing it on her forthcoming album. The major drawback seems to be that her new offerings are a bit too true the era that inspired them. This sample set would have been much more impressive if it sounded more current. Take Pharrell’s “Happy.” Clearly, that song was inspired by the same era. However, it sounds fresh and new. J. Hud could have used more of that new flavor for this “coming out.”
The album is set to arrive on September 23rd. Will you be buying? Stream the whole sampler below!
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