Weekly entertainment column by David Farr.
America got it right with Jordin Sparks when they voted her the next "American Idol."
America got it right with Jordin Sparks when they voted her the next "American Idol." She is living her show-winning single "This Is My Now." Sparks made her awards-show debut on the American Music Awards/American Idol Awards show. She was a presenter on the telecast, but all she needed to do was smile to win over the audience. I say "American Idol Awards Show" because "AI" alumni dominated the categories and acceptance speeches. Jordin should have taken notes because she may very well be up on that stage next year. Sparks' self-titled debut CD on Jive Records is exactly what it should be - a pure pop record. It's not flashy, nor out of her league. I would describe "Jordin Sparks" as the perfect teen/tween album. She definitely knows where she belongs in regards to her music. At just 17, Sparks shows such promise as a singer. This record showcases the power of her crystal-clear vocal prowess, something that made her an early contender on "AI." The only thing missing is her own "I (Who Have Nothing)," meaning I wanted to hear her send one out of the ballpark like she did that song on "AI." The CD opens with her current single, "Tattoo." The song was produced by Stargate, the same team responsible for Beyonce's "Irreplaceable," which is what I thought of the first moment I heard the song. It has the same familiar drum-line and acoustic guitar rhythm that helped "Irreplaceable" strike gold. "Tattoo" was the perfect song to introduce herself to the three people in America who didn't watch the sixth season of "American Idol." It's a great song, and Jordin would have hit big with it whether she won the title or not. It grows on you with every listen. On "No Air," Sparks is in duet with newfound R&B sensation Chris Brown. This song surprised me the most on the album. Sparks and Brown blend well together vocally. It's a beautiful song that captures the true talent these two young artists possess. Sparks and Brown could give Rihanna and NeYo a run for their money if "No Air" were to become a single. Rihanna and NeYo are currently on the charts for their duet of "I Hate That I Love You." The rest of "Jordin Sparks" covers a wide territory: dance, pop, balladry fused with hop-hop overtones, all pleasant to my eardrums. "Freeze," "Permanent Monday," "Now You Tell Me," and "Next To You" are clear stand outs and worth repeated listens. Hearing Jordin sing these songs made me smile and remember the gal who week after week proved why she deserved all the "AI" accolades. Sparks is on the same path as Kelly Clarkson, musically speaking. Both won me over from the get-go by singing their hearts out on "American Idol." Their music definitely strikes a chord with me. Sparks may have turned her "now" into forever with the release of "Jordin Sparks." David T. Farr is a Sturgis Journal correspondent. E-mail him at email@example.com.