Being the Rolling Stones is a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it. Since the Stones themselves have turned into a joke, we’ll gladly take the Delta 72. Their earlier recordings were inspired by hard-driving ’60s soul, but now with 000 these Philly boys look back to the flamboyantly sweaty boogie Jagger & Co. played at their ’70s peak — and completely rejuvenate it.
Vocal effects, T-Pain, and Ludacris have their place -- pop-oriented R&B singles fronted by life-like automatons with limited range, for instance -- but beyond cynical sales interests, they make zero sense on a Jennifer Hudson album. Anyone who has heard Hudson sing, whether through American Idol, Dreamgirls, or even that baffling duet on Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell III, would know she is capable of carrying an album without trendy gimmickry and guest MCs. Few vocalists as young as Hudson have a voice that is as versatile and expressive, proficient enough to pull off a multi-dimensional set of R&B songs, yet her debut is as tricked out as that of an artist with a small fraction of the talent.