That the opening guitar line of ”Walking on Snow” — the first track on Jordin Sparks’ sophomore set — sounds like a close cousin ?of the riff that kicks off Kelly Clarkson’s ”Since U Been Gone” should come as no surprise. One couldn’t blame Sparks, American Idol‘s sixth-season champ, for attempting ?to mirror the career trajectory of the ?original-flavor Idol: a decently received debut followed up by a pop masterpiece with ? multiplatinum sales. Battlefield certainly delivers on the artistic end: It’s packed with more hooks than a ? fisherman’s tackle box, none better than on the gorgeous title track, which sports a soaring chorus.
The youngest-ever winner of American Idol, at 17, Jordin Sparks has spent the subsequent two years setting herself up as an irreproachably wholesome purveyor of lovelorn yet optimistic pop/R&B. The 2007 hit No Air gave you the breathy, cleancut gist; this second album employs the same tricks - almost literally, in the case of Let It Rain, which has a tremulous build-up and heroic chorus ("Let it rain, wash me clean," she commands) that could've been cadged from No Air. Squelchy electronics and a relatively earthy lyric ("Look in her eyes, she's mentally undressing him") give SOS an urban hue, and the clattering Let It Rain is modern R&B worthy of Rihanna.
Jordin Sparks didn't get any traction until she received a boost from Chris Brown via their duet "No Air," the one moment on her 2007 eponymous debut that felt unquestionably modern, so it makes perfect sense that her second album,Battlefield, ditches almost all lingering American Idol pageantry for stylized pop and R&B pitched halfway between Rihanna (whose "S. O. S.
JORDIN SPARKS“Battlefield”(19/Jive) Jordin Sparks entered the first phase of her pop career as an ingénue, winning “American Idol” with bright talent, bubbly charm and a willingness to learn. Her self-titled debut sold more than a million copies on the strength of four hit singles, each a gust of teenage wonderment or torment. “Battlefield,” her expertly constructed second album, upholds a darker, more experienced tone without losing an ounce of melodrama.