Review Roundup: Jennifer Hudson – ‘Jennifer Hudson’

Jennifer Hudson’s long-awaited self-titled debut album arrives in stores and online today. Find out what the critics are saying…

Entertainment Weekly: The identity-defying ”something for everybody” mentality yields a Robin Thicke ballad, a Timbaland stomper, some semi-acoustic soul from Stargate, and so on. None are exceptional, but they’re all a sufficient delivery system for those spectacular vocal chops. B-

Chicago Sun-Times: Sad to say, not only is it not worth the wait, but in typical “American Idol” fashion, it’s an overworked, overwrought, shamelessly pandering piece of pop product unworthy of her considerable talents and largely devoid of the personality that made us love her in the first place.
1 out of 5

New York Daily News: Hudson’s meaty voice dovetails well with the tough or mature songs. She’s one of R&B’s few young singers whose voice has resisted the influence of modern mall culture to retain a sense of place.
3 out of 5

Houston Chronicle: “If This Isn’t Love” uses vocal overdubs to good effect and has just enough of a rough R&B edge. Thicke’s “Giving Myself” is a nice surprise, an old-school diva ballad a la Stephanie Mills, Jennifer Holliday, and Patti LaBelle.

The Boston Globe: The most striking thing about the record, and what ultimately holds it together, is the placement of Hudson’s voice front and center in the mix.

Baltimore Sun: The album doesn’t achieve much cohesion or offer anything in the way of an identity. Executive-produced by Clive Davis, the legendary pop impresario who always favors style over substance, Jennifer Hudson has a made-by-committee feel to it.

Washington Post: The Robin Thicke-penned “Giving Myself” is an emotional, devotional soul showcase, a classic piano ballad designed to show off Hudson’s big, brassy voice. “What’s Wrong (Go Away)” is a modern R&B song duet with T-Pain that’s ruined by his exotic, robotic auto-tuned vocals.

Rap-Up’s Favorite Tracks: “Spotlight, “If This Isn’t Love,” “Pocketbook”