American Idol
Ruben Studdard: “Soulful”

Episode Report Card
admin: D+ | Grade It Now!
No, you cannot get my attention

I lack any additional childhood memories to explain why I found Ruben's album boring, for those of you who read the review of Clay's album. So sorry. Unless you hated my stupid anecdote. In which case: You're welcome.

Ruben's album, "Soulful," features a bland CD cover of Ruben standing in front of a graffiti-covered wall, with a poster on it featuring an image of the album cover of Ruben standing in front of a graffiti-covered wall. If you look closely at the poster on the poster, you can see a tiny image of Luther Vandross begging to be let out his magical prison.

Oh, and the mini-poster. I didn't mention that Clay's CD had one, too. I'm always embarrassed to be in possession of a pop performer mini-poster. This one features Ruben clutching a rhinestone-studded crucifix necklace up to his face, like he's about to put it in your mouth. If there's one thing the Bible has taught us, it's that Jesus just loves the bling-bling. The little posters bring back memories of being in my sister's bedroom when she was a high school freshman. Except, unlike Ruben and Clay, Corey Hart was hot.

Oh, I guess I got that childhood anecdote in after all.

1. "Sorry 2004." Regardless of how confident I might be about the appeal, I would never choose a song with that title to lead off a debut album. It's just asking for trouble, like when terrible movies have negative words in the title (like "bad") and the critics have a field day. This song is a slow R&B song that has Ruben whispering "I'm sorry" in it at various points. It makes me cringe in embarrassment. Songs shouldn't have stage whispering in them, unless they're trying to sound like a parody. Ruben's voice sounds nice and smooth in this song, but the lyrics are almost supernaturally dumb. The verses are just a list of mistakes which are comparable to Ruben's mistakes, whatever they are, for which he's sorry. The song is an apology to his girl for all his stupid mistakes. Wait, is "2004" his girlfriend? He's dating a year? I mean, he's big, but he's not that big. Oh, the apology in this song is in advance for any mistakes he might make in 2004. The blanket advance apology: When you need a way to tell your significant other, "I'm not even going to try to consider your feelings any more. I'll just apologize now and then do whatever the hell I want anyway." He even apologizes his way through each month, "in case [he doesn't] remember." He's really not selling me on the sincerity here. Maybe they should have called it "Yeah, Whatever 2004."

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American Idol




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