Allison Iraheta: Just Like You

RIYL: Pink, Kelly Clarkson, Fergie

If you follow “American Idol” at all, you know that Season 8 (2009) was all about Kris Allen and Adam Lambert, and maybe some of you know current country act Danny Gokey, who finished third. But usually the other finalists are less memorable or fade into oblivion over time. Not so with fourth place finisher Allison Iraheta, who turned 17 during Season 8 but never showed signs of being that young. This young woman is so full of spunk and charisma, and has rocker pipes that should keep her financially set for a long time. Iraheta’s debut on Simon Fuller’s 19 Recordings/Jive, Just Like You, is one of those formula fests as pop/rock albums go – in other words, guys like Mitch Allan and David Hodges (Evanescence) were brought in to write with Allison, who winds up sounding more like Pink than anyone else. And if you’re into Pink, there is nothing wrong with that at all. Of course, some of this stuff is borderline annoying, like the Fergie-ish first two tracks, “Friday I’ll Be Over You” and “Robot Love.” But it gets better from there, starting with the powerful anthem of a title track, and later on with two of the best songs that somehow got buried here, piano ballad “Trouble Is,” and “No One Else,” (ironically co-written by Pink and “Idol” judge Kara DioGuardi), which is reminiscent of Tina Turner’s “Simply the Best.” Come to think of it, Iraheta certainly has Turner elements in her voice, and that’s really saying something. No fading into oblivion here, just a really bright future. (19 Recordings/Jive 2009)

Allison Iraheta website


Faces of March: Confessions

This Miami, Florida-based group has gone a long way toward living out its rock fantasies. The band has done it their way, from building and using their own studio, to calling the shots as far as how their music is distributed. Not only are they business savvy, but they’ve got a great debut album to boot. The ten tracks on this disc get in, get the job done, and leave just in time for it to all remain fresh and exciting in your memory. Lead singer Gia has a great voice that hits all the notes perfectly without turning it into an ego trip. Producer Paul Trust has put his patented stamp on the proceedings here, allowing songs like “Drowning,” “Broken,” and “Too Late” to become much more than the sum of its parts. This is an album that, if marketed properly, could actually do some chart damage, or at least get this band noticed. There’s a little something for everyone here, and while some folks might be ready to label this group as being along the lines of Evanescence, et al, Faces of March are intrinsically much more exciting. Definitely worth hearing. (Kurfew Records)

Faces of March MySpace page