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Jake Simpson - Star Search Winner: Jake Simpson Print E-mail
Tuesday, 01 April 2003

Star Search Winner: Jake Simpson
Star Search Winner
format: CD
label: Sony Music
release year: 2002
performance: 6
sound 5
reviewed by: Dan MacIntosh

ImageThis album presents the first release from “Star Search” winner Jake Simpson. While it’s a relatively inoffensive effort, it certainly doesn’t exactly shout out, “A star is born!”

The album can be broken into three simple parts: First, there’s the stab at hit single with the Diane Warren-written “I Don’t Know How I Got By.”Secondly, there are four tracks written or co-written by producer Marc Tanner, which serve more as filler than anything else. Lastly, the album closes with three Motown classics, which were presumably the songs Simpson performed on the TV program. Some of these parts work okay, while others are downright mistakes.

The Warren-penned balled is predictable and dull, like almost every other hit she’s ever written. It’s one of those Hallmark greeting card songs that are written specifically to appeal to soap opera-watching females. By attaching it to this cute young man, the producers have given themselves at least a fighting chance for chart success.

The Tanner tracks are sweet yet forgettable. These songs are mostly filled with positive sentiments regarding love and life. One song title in particular sums it all up best: “Talk About The Future.”

The Motown covers are absolutely miserable. Why on earth would they make this fresh-faced young white guy cover such a politically-charged anthem as Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On”? But his run-through of Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” isn’t much better. Wonder wrote it specifically about his newborn daughter, which makes it a highly personal offering. The only worthwhile archival work dug up here is found with “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours,” which was also written by Wonder. Since Simpson’s bright young voice matches this song’s inherent enthusiasm, it’s the best of the three cover choices.

The music here is mostly by-the-numbers studio hackwork, making it basically serviceable. The consumer also ought to beware that there are only eight tracks in total. In a climate where the average album is almost twice that length, it’s certainly no bargain. TV viewers would well be advised to spend more time watching that other bunch of Simpsons (you know, the animated ones) instead of laying down good money for this amateur hour contest winner’s first release.

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