Album Review: Jordin Sparks - 'Battlefield' - Celebrity Bug


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Album Review: Jordin Sparks - 'Battlefield'

To say Jordin Sparks’ life has been an adventure, would be putting it lightly. She started by riding the vehicle of American Idol, which led to her becoming the show’s youngest winner in history, and transformed it into a successful recording career.

Her self-titled debut album soared to platinum heights with the success of “Tattoo”, “One Step at a Time” and her Chris Brown-assisted duet “No Air”, and now she looks to find that success again and avoid the wicked sophomore slump with the release of her second album, Battlefield, which recently debuted at No.7 on the Billboard 200.

The Lucas Secon-written “Walking on Snow”, leads the set off with airy vocals as she metaphorically compares a past relationship to walking on snow, given as time passes more snow falls eventually leaving no signs that you were once there. Quite an interesting overlay of an underlying concept, although it tends to marginalize the content of her strong vocals.

The album’s title track and lead single “Battlefield”, is triumph on the winning heights of the passion in her vocals and the instrumentation, which offers an intense depth of dramatics as she shouts “why does love always feel like a battlefield”.

“Don’t Let It Go to Your Head” was originally sung by FeFe Dobson and effectively shows that she possesses the skill to take a track and make it her own. She loses a lot of the edginess and spunk that was once found in the original and transforms it into a version that’s more Pop, but still actively excels in unison with the foundation.

The up-tempo “SOS (Let the Music Play)” samples Shannon's 1983 hit "Let the Music Play" and refreshing updates the original, while the revenge seeking “It Takes More”, sees her refusing to let an ex off the hook easily. “I’ve settled for less, when I stayed with you but no more, cause you weren’t worth waiting for, you think that maybe that I’m just so easy, you can come in and out of my life like you please but baby no”.

Toby Gad, who crafted Beyonce’s “If I Were A Boy” and Fergie’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, oversees “Emergency (911)”, which easily takes its place as the album’s worst track. From its annoying essence to the crappy lyrics, it all becomes a comedy spectacle.

“Watch You Go” marks the disc’s most urban friendly turn and contain some rather catchy lyrics (“I hate to see you leave but I love to watch you go”), while “No Parade” and “Let It Rain” continue to show the strength that lies within her voice as she ranges through notes both high and low.

“Was I the Only One” sees her simply asking “Was I the only one who fell in love?”, over a beautiful track with incredibly engaging lyrics that capture you with an emotional flare that seems extremely genuine and heartfelt.

“Faith” sets foot upon the grounds of inspiration, while “The Cure” marks another great moment as she sings, “Show me where it hurts, and I know that I can be, the medicine you need and I’ll be your cure”.

In conclusion, Battlefield uses the basic blueprints that were set into play on her debut album, as she houses between the realms of Pop, Rock and Soul, but elaborates the plans with a sense of maturity and growth that easily makes this set a better effort than her first.

Is it great? Rarely, but she does ride the wheels between solid and good, which helps fill in the gap of youth that she was desperately missing on the show.

3 out of 5

Celebrity Bug’s Key Tracks: “Battlefield”, “Don’t Let It Go to Your Head”, “It Takes More”, “Was I the Only One” & “The Cure”.

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