By Esme Mazzeo, Staff Writer
Allison Iraheta and company were on top of their game the day they picked the name of her album "Just Like You." Iraheta is not trying to be anything apart from the crazy, seventeen-year-old, rocker chick that her fans fell in love with and related to on "Idol" on her Jive debut.
The first two tracks, "Friday I'll Be Over U" and "Robot Love" are 80s-infused, age appropriate rock jams that are relatable, despite having no agenda beyond fun (we all want to smack someone for paying more attention to their texts than us). "Don't Waste the Pretty" is an interesting take on a female empowerment anthem, showcasing Iraheta's vocal range, and "Pieces" reflects every teenager's desire for freedom, whether it be from parents or a relationship. "Holiday," one of the harder tracks on the album, is reminiscent of No Doubt a la "Tragic Kingdom" era, and "Still Breathing" is a ballad with a nice enough melody, even if the message is overplayed. "Trouble Is" also relies on a sort of catchy chorus to tell a story we've heard before, but Iraheta's unique voice will keep you listening in spite of yourself.
Iraheta shines brightest on the end of the album where she sings an Alicia Moore (Pink) written mid-tempo ballad about a lover like "No One Else."
It should be no surprise that Moore penned the song, as it sounds like something she would do, but Iraheta does the track enough justice that it deserves to be hers. The Kevin Rudolph produced track "Beat Me Up", about an emotional rollercoaster of a relationship packs the most punch (excuse the pun) not only because of its surprising metaphor, (no, she is not condoning domestic abuse) but also its infectious beat. To end the album, Iraheta tries her hand at writing "You Don't Know Me" which, though unremarkable, is a great start for a seventeen year old.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with this album. Though some tracks are forgettable, when Iraheta shines, she shines brightly. Her vocal ability alone sets her apart from the Miley's and Demi's and other, ridiculous pop stars she's competing with today, and if she continues steadily down this road I see her on par with one of this album's many contributors, as her voice and style are similar to Pink. At the very least, "Just Like You" deserves a listen.