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Hudson’s vocals carry otherwise blah effort

With all of the chatter about Jennifer Hudson’s new figure, many forgot about the new album from the vocalist, “I Remember Me.”

The good news is regardless of everything taken off of Hudson’s waistline, she didn’t lose anything vocally. The singer still belts like the woman who rose through the ranks of “American Idol” and earned an Oscar for her portrayal of Effie White in “Dreamgirls.”

However, with great vocal power comes great responsibility, which is something Hudson needs to show some work on. Every hook is delivered with the same high level of intensity. It’s easy to appreciate Hudson’s soulful abilities, but she could take a page from Adele’s book and dial it down on occasion.

Hudson might reconsider her entire approach for her next album. She has a voice arguably even stronger than Beyonce’s, but she has nowhere near the pop sensibility of Mrs. Z. Hudson’s first single, “Where You At,” sounds great vocally but it’s not especially catchy. She would do well to steer toward soul and away from standard pop. Essentially, Hudson is more likely to spawn the next “Respect” than the next “Single Ladies.”

The same problem of approach is evident with the choice of producers. Swizz Beatz, Ryan Tedder and Stargate are producers designed for one thing: making pop singles. You can hear the awkward attempts to make Hudson’s tracks dance-worthy, like on Stargate’s overly dense hook for “I Got This,” or Swizz Beatz’s beat for “Angel,” which sounds like it was remixed before making a normal version.

Hudson’s songwriting team is strong, thanks to multiple contributions from Alicia Keys, but the only track penned by Hudson, “I Remember Me,” is the album’s best offering. If she can produce similar tracks for her next album, it’ll be a winner. But for now, “I Remember Me” is a mixed bag.

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