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Jordin Sparks – Right Here Right Now | Album Review

Did you miss Jordin Sparks’ latest album Right Here Right Now? Let our review guide the way!

Source: Album Artwork

Source: Album Artwork

For talents who’ve risen to fame through reality television, or the ‘machine’ known to some, it’s often difficult for such singers to establish themselves as bona fide stars. Jordin Sparks is one of the few American Idol alums to have achieved this feat by triumphing the UK Charts with storming hits such as ‘No Air‘ and ‘Battlefield‘. Battlefield also happens to be the name of her last full record, released back in 2009. So as Right Here Right Now brings with it a whole new musical era, the question is, how much can change in six years?

If you were expecting an album comprised of motivational power anthems, Jordin’s music no longer fits this brief. Displayed in lead single ‘Double Tap‘, Sparks forgoes her higher range and opts for casual, unprogressive hip-hop. Dismiss the Instagram theme and you’ll hear echoes of mid-career Mariah in her transition from pop to a mellower R&B. The B.o.B collaboration ‘Work from Home‘ builds on this influence. The track opens with a delicate, lullaby-like melody before the layered production pulls ahead, forming a smooth mid-tempo jam.

As Jordin moves forward with her new sound, she actually goes backwards in influence. Soulful ballad ‘They Don’t Give‘ could easily pass as a Destiny’s Child number with its low-key backbeat and cresendoing strings. ‘Silhouette‘ oozes just as much intimacy as Sparks hyptonises not only the listener, but her significant other with her light falsetto in an unafraid, game-changing serenade.

Whilst Jordin excels in her ballads, other tracks struggle to find a cohesive, distinguishable rhythm. ‘1000‘ is too heavy on its instruments that no tune shines through, and not even Jordin’s vocals can salvage it. She just about gets away with title track ‘Right Here Right Now‘. Whilst unexpected in structure, once recognised, the song is a grower.

Amongst the smooth jams ‘11:11‘ and ‘Unhappy‘, the most harmonious duet of the album with Elijah Blake, rests ‘Casual Love‘. Featuring the sounds of tropical reggae, the uptempo number finds itself as the black sheep of the bunch, and though not exactly unwelcome, it demonstrates Sparks’ ability to command any music style.

Right Here Right Now may not boast the large statement-makers worthy of single material, but buried within the record are tracks that deserve their moment. Sales may not be on the album’s side, but that only gives us more reason to call these tracks our best kept secrets.

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