Jennifer Hudson will release her sophomore album I Remember Me March 22, 2011 and HeHates is on the case. Admittedly, HeHates has never been a fan of Jennifer’s voice. I’ve always found her style too gospel, too screamy and too pitchy for my liking. If a singer prefers to hit big notes, that singer should take care to actually know which big notes are actually in the song’s key. In the past, pitch has been an issue for Jennifer and HeHates has not been amused. :-/ Instead of the big notes wowing me, they’ve bothered me. Nevertheless, HeHates is always willing to give a performer a 2nd chance to redeem themselves
I Remember Me is decent effort from Jennifer Hudson that almost succeeds in fusing her trademark gospel-tinged vocals with R&B music. She actually exceeded my expectation by recording at least 1 song I would add to my music collection. The album starts strong with the first track No One Gonna Love You but soon falls off a cliff into valley of warmed over has-been tracks that only serves to bore the listener to death. Sadly, for Ms. Hudson there are no hit singles on the project. It’s just collection of not so good to decent songs packaged together. 2 out of 5 Grins.
Standout tracks: I Got This and Why Is It So Hard?
Bottom line: Borrow the CD from a friend and rip a few songs you like. Not worth having in your CD collection.
Where You At? music vid
Album Tracklisting and Song Ratings
1. No One Gonna Love You 2 1/2 Grins A playful, plucky, almost uptempo track that she sings with great attitude and strong vocals
2. I Got This 3 Grins Nice midtempo that Jennifer sings well. A self-affirmation anthem
3. Where You At? 2 3/4 Grins A mellow groove with a pervasive drum track that makes its presence felt throughout the song
4. Angel 1/2 Grimace Abstract minimalist percussive leaden track that doesn’t ever develop into anything worthwhile. Not sure what they striving for here but it certainly is terrible (SKIP)
5. I Remember Me 1/2 Grin I thought it interesting the title track is 5th in the tracklisting. Then I heard the song. There’s a message in the music but it’s wasted in this effort
6. Gone 1 Grin A percussive, synthesized midtempo pop groove burdened by Jennifer’s overkill gospel vocals.
7. Everybody Needs Love 3 Grimaces Pure trash. Dated throwback dance track with over the top wailing vocals. I could punch somebody for writing, producing and recording this shit (SKIP)
8. Why Is It So Hard 3 1/2 Grins Jennifer’s gospel inspired vocals soar on this track. The vocal arrangement fits her vocal style well. Nice album filler
9. Don’t Look Down 2 Grimaces Trash. Sounds like a leftover track from Mariah Carey’s “Make It Happen” days. Very corny message sound (SKIP)
10. Still Here 2 3/4 Grins Nice pop ballad. Power vocals over a understated yet melodic track
11. Feeling Good 3 Grimaces Worthless shit. Sounds like something from an animated musical. Bad (SKIP)
12. Believe 1 1/4 Grins Inspirational song. Gospel chords, Hammond organ, Choir-lite backing vocals. Not a great song but Jennifer sounds at home
Dear God in heaven: Please explain to HeHates how this bullshit sitcom Working Class passed the smell test at CMT network and made its way on air? Hello? Hello? Do you hear me God? Did you see what I saw? Heavens to mercy what a silly question to ask. Of course you did. God, I’m still waiting rather impatiently on your reply. I need answers NOW. So, what is it? My spirit is grieved. I’m ready to slap the taste out of the responsible party’s mouth. Someone must pay the piper the mockery of a sitcom this production is.
Help me understand how it is possible to hire 7 series regular cast members and not a one can pull a laugh. Ok, the esteemed Mr Edward Asner gets a pass for his extensive body of work and being old as hell. Plus, he did deliver the best oneliner of the pilot and it actually was funny. However, HeHates is still pissed. You know I take this shit personally. It defiles and demeans my craft when craptastic sitcom acting goes unquestioned and unrebuked.
Help me understand how it is possible to write such unfunny and unoriginal drivel and be rewarded with a series order of 12 episodes. Can I join this exclusive members only club? Can I assume there is quite a bit of money reserved for members of this club that has to be issued every year much like those gov’t grant programs that television pitch man is always screaming at me about late at night. God I really need answers.
Help me understand why a network trying to broaden the appeal of its brand and increase viewership by airing a first run scripted series would leave so much to chance by funding a tired, poorly developed concept that was dead in the water after the first 2 mins. Why didn’t CMT have the balls to the plug on the show when it was DOA? Come on, be honest. One of the CMT network exec’s is enamored with Melissa Peterman’s tits and ass, huh?
I guess you have no answers for me tonight God. That’s cool. Still love you.
~HeHates (Your biggest fan)
I’ve seen duds before but even they have had at least one redeeming quality. I found nothing of the sort in CMT’s lame ass Working Class.
Citation: More painful to bear than my annual prostate exam
Working Class Episode 1
American Idol continues to have me in stitches week in and week out. Frequently during the telecast I ask myself “is this the best talent America has to offer?” I have to remind myself that Idol is more television production than actual talent competition. If this is the best season of singers ever like I keep hearing, something smells rotten in the state of denmark.
Before we discuss the performances, I have pressing questions that need answering. 1) Why was Ryan Seacrest obsessed with the lip stick smear on Haley’s chin? His ass seemingly jumped into frame out of nowhere. His behavior was more distracting than the smear. Someone remind me of why this clown has a career. Gawd, he works me. 2) Is Idol really paying for airfare and hotel to have Idol’ contestants’ family and friends in attendance at the live taping? Wow! I knew the show was making bank but damn. 3) Why are Jennifer and Steve often at a lost for words when critiquing the Idols? Neither really says anything worth a damn. I’m thinking why are they there. 4)When is Jennifer going to go back to her natural hair color? The blond highlights and big hair really are atrocious. 5) Will Randy Jackson ever speak like a grown man and not like a hip hop loving white kid from the ‘burbs?
Overall the performances were some kind of terrible. Pitchiness and awkward body movement reigned supreme.
1. Naima delivered the BEST backstage post performance line of the evening when she said something to the effect of “I guess I feel it too much and that’s when my pitch goes off. I’m all about the feeling and I felt it tonight.” Feelings make you pitchy? SIT THE FUCK DOWN chickadee! You don’t have a good ear, that’s why you are frequently off pitch and nowhere in the vicinity of the proper note. I can’t…I won’t..tolerate your shenanigans.
Naima’s song selection was questionable. But even worse was her execution of Tina Turner’s iconic “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” The song was barely recognizable thanks to the hatchet job Naima performed on it. Why does her styling choices remind me of Rainbow Brite and Punky Brewster? She’s officially on The List.
2. Paul performed a rendition of “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues” in his trademark whispery, talk-sing vocal style and customary circus ringleader body gyrations. My issue with Paul is he just doesn’t have a strong voice. I don’t mind his offcenter singing style. But when it comes time to bring a song home and buildup to a climax his voice leaves you wanting. His vocal style is very one dimensional.
3. Thia delivered a solid yet forgettable performance of “Colors of the Wind” by Vanessa Williams. Her tone is outstanding. However, she’s definitely missing that star quality some folks either have or don’t. I think she needs a little more time for her vocal chops to develop. I thinks she’s still learning how to use her voice to best of her ability. Randy called her performance safe and boring and he wants to see her step out of the confines of the ballads she’s been singing. With a little more self-belief and confidence I think she would’ve handled the occasion a lot better. It’s obvious she wants to please the judges. Hopefully, she knows she did well. The missing ingredient is energy and passion from her performances and that comes from within regardless if you are singing a ballad or an uptempo.
4. James the energizer bunny performed “I’ll Be There For You” by Bon Jovi and I was bored. This kid doesn’t wow me like he does Jennifer. I was bored. Again, I think he’s another singer who doesn’t know what to do with his voice just yet. Supposedly, he’s a rocker. But truthfully I’m not buying it. Doesn’t feel authentic to me. Seems like he’s playing dress up.
5. Haley took a huge leap and performed “I’m Your Baby Tonight” By Whitney Houston. I personally want to thank Haley for one of my biggest, heartiest laughs of the evening. The leap wasn’t successful. I’m not sure what to make of Haley. I give the kid credit for giving it her all every time she hits the stage but her song selection is all over the map, her vocal arrangements are questionable and she doesn’t know how to move about a stage gracefully. She’d do well to bench that throaty growl thingy she likes to do. Aww! I felt for her.
6. Stefano once again tried his hand at soul music, performing “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. Honestly, I am not sure what possesses this kid to continue to sing soul music when it isn’t a fit for his voice. His voice is kind of stiff. Though he emotes when he sings, those song are just too big for his capabilities. Again the audience and the judges were full of glee but I’m not sure why. He is charismatic and has stage presence but I can not stomach his song selections. Hopefully, he’ll find a suitable song one of these weeks. Despite my objections to his song choice his performance was very strong.
7. Pia was bamboozled by Rodney Jerkins into singing an uptempo version of “Where Do Broken Hearts Go?” by Whitney Houston. side bar: this is the second week in a row I have seen Rodney Jerkins set up one of the singers with his misguided attempt at turning a ballad into a uptempo song without altering the song’s original melody. what a fucking idiot. In spite of the unfortunate musical accompaniment, Pia brought the vocals per usual. She continues to perform head and shoulders above all the other singers.
8. Scotty is the singer most ready to transition into being a recording artist. Remarkably, he understands his voice and his fan base at a young age. His performance of “Can I Trust You With My Heart?” by Travis Tritt was very solid. Scott needs to develop as a perform a lot more. He doesn’t own the stage just yet. I think that’ll come in time.
9. Karen once again attempted to sing a song much too big, too impactful, too powerful and too remarkable for her voice. Again I sat in my seat cringing as she performed a pitiful paint by numbers rendition of Taylor Dayne’s “Love Will Lead You Back.” Please don’t pick a song you don’t have the chops to execute. Especially, when you tread in diva-legend-icon infested water. I still don’t know why this chick is in the competition. She sucks. She is in way over her head. She is definitely on The List. Her voice makes me violent *wink Pink Lady*. And what was that Star Trek outfit she was wearing? Really? SIT THE FUCK DOWN!
10. Casey and his circus act made another appearance as he growled, grimaced and effectively massacred Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Not much to say other than this guy is side show act. When he decides to drop the genius artist act maybe I’ll take him seriously. As of now, this clown is on ignore.
11. Alaina turned in a nice performance of Melissa Etheridge’s “I’m the Only One.” She was in good voice in spite of the cold or flu she said she had. Still needs some work in learning how to maximize her vocals from start to finish. There was a slight lull in the song when she didn’t seem as comfortable.
12. Jacob brought his typical over the top, out of tune wailing to the stage. This week Jacob chose to desecrate “Alone” by Heart. This kid is a piece of heart. Those out of tune otherworldly notes he was hitting were shitty and unnecessary. I wish someone would show this kid how to use his voice effectively instead of encouraging all of that fucking yelling like a bitch. HeHates was not amused.
This is really the best America has to offer, huh? It ain’t much!
Idol’s 2nd round of semifinal competition heated up last night as the remaining 12 ladies took the stage to showcase their talent. Thankfully, they were better than the Men. However, there were still a few duds in the bunch.
1. Ta-Tynisa Wilson sang Only Girl In The World (Rihanna): Hands down executed the worst vocal performance of the evening. Honestly, I am not sure she sang a single note on pitch. And that’s a tough accomplishment. That’s like betting nil in Spades and actually puling it off. She made me cringe. I assume nerves got the better of her. It was a wasted effort.
2. Naima Adedapo sang Summertime (from Porgy and Bess): Naima is true performer. She worked the stage and the audience over as she delivered a finger snapping, jazz-flavored rendition of Summertime. Her talent is undeniable. There’s something special about her.
3. Kendra Chantelle sang Impossible (Christina Aguilera): Made more of impression on me with her wardrobe than she did with her vocals. She has incredible range I discovered but I completely disagreed with the song selection. I started tuning her out shortly into the performance. Nice voice. I liked to hear her use it differently. The blue-eyed soul approach underwhelmed.
4. Rachel Zevita sang Criminal (Fiona Apple): Rachel graced the stage looking very reminiscent of burlusque artist Dita Von Teese. I had high expectations when her performance began. Those hopes were dashed pretty quickly. Rachel made a poor song choice. The performance was forgettable and the vocals were subpar.
5. Karen Rodridguez sang Hero (Mariah Carey): Karen offered a bilingual rendition of Mariah’s mega-smash anthem Hero. I think most singers know to stay away from signature songs of Mariah, Whitney, Aretha and several other notable legends unless you can somehow match their deliver or one up them. Karen obviously didn’t get the memo. I thought I was watching the talent portion of a pageant contest. There is nothing special about her voice. When you don’t have a stirring voice, the last thing you want to do is a sing song originaly popularized by a diva. NEXT!!!
6. Lauren Turner sang Seven Day Fool (Etta James): Lauren’s delivered a quirky, off-beat performance. Singing seems to come easy for her; performing, on the other hand, does not. She moved about the stage in herky jerky fashion wearing that hideous ensemble. It was an eye sore. She definitely needs to be molded. She was utterly forgettable by mid-point of the song.
7. Ashton Jones sang Love Over Me (Monica): Ashton has a voice. She is a true singer. That said, the song selection was wrong simply because Monica’s Love Over Me is not a well enough known song to really move a crowd. It’s obvious Ashton is a performer. She worked the stage with ease. If she wants to move on in this competition she’ll have to mindful of her song selection.
8. Julie Zorrino sang Breakaway (Kelly Clarkson): Julie undertook past Idol winner Kelly Clarkson’s hit Breakaway. Julie’s rendition was underwhelming. There was passion, no emotion. She’s a pretty woman with no direction. She needs to figure out who she is as a vocalists.
9. Hailey Reinhart sang Fallin (Alicia “off”Keys): Oh dear! I can’t even to begin to make much sense of Hailey’s performance of Fallin’. Sometimes things that are terrible make me laugh. Other times, they make me cringe. In this case, I cringed…repeatedly. It was awful. Honestly, no one but Alicia “Off” Keys should ever sing this crappy song. I guess I was supposed to impressed with her kind of smoky, bluesy (dare I say. apologies to all blues singers) vocal stylings. Well, I was not. Those runs were terrible and the growling was so amateur. Growling out phrases doesn’t make me think you are really feeling it. Lastly, what in the hell was she wearing?
10. Thia Megia sang Out Here On My Own (Irene Cara): Thia’s heart was really into the song so I give her credit for that. But she needs work. According to the judges and the live audience she was amazing. BULLSHIT! Her singing was pitchy. Definitely wasn’t a fan of she presented. Boo!
11. Lauren Alaina sang Turn Up Your Radio (Reba McEntire): Lauren came out like gang busters. From first to last note, she was determined to make an impression. She looked very comfortable on stage; great showmanship; effortless vocals. I enjoyed the texture of her voice.
12. Pia Toscano sang I’ll Stand By You (The Pretenders): Pia delivered a near flawless performance. She probably wins the award for best female performer of the evening. Though I wasn’t nearly as moved as the live audience and judges, it was apparent Pia had a voice. I got the feeling there is much, much more to her voice than what she presented.
Definitely interested in seeing who gets knocked out of competition. My top 5 choices are: Naima, Pia, Lauren, Ashton and Kendra.
Soon as I heard that Simon Cowell would no longer be apart of Idol I feared his replacement would be some bleeding heart type who was unable or unwilling to give honest feedback to the Idol contestants. Last night’s edition of Idol confirmed my fears as I watched Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson fawn over several Idol performances that were lackluster to downright shitty. Of the remaining 12 male contestants vying to make the Idol top 10 only 3 guys seemed ready for the big stage and bright lights. I expected much better than what I witnessed. It was bothersome watching the Idol judges praise mediocrity. Grr!
Let’s discuss last night’s performers:
1. Clint Jun Gamboa sang Superstition (Steve Wonder): It was a pretty energetic rendition that sort of drove me crazy. Midway through his performance I was ready to change channels and give up on Idol before the contest had even gotten started. Clint joyfully skipped back forth across the stage singing his little heart out. I wasn’t crazy about his offering but after my nerves relaxed I realized the kid has a voice.
2. Jovany Barreto sang I’ll Be (Edwin McCain): Snoozefest! Could this guy be anymore boring? I hardly remember him.
3. Jordan Dorsey sang OMG (Usher): What was he thinking? I can’t even begin to describe what ungodly and unnatural thing Jordan did to Usher’s song. Whatever it was, it was an abomination that needed to be condemned to hell.
4. Tim Halperin sang Rob Thomas’ Streetcorner Symphony (Come On Over): Tim delivered an awkward and lackluster performance. I couldn’t wait for it to end. Watching him move about the stage and sing a tad bit out of tune was uncomfortable.
5. Brett Loewenstern sang Light My Fire (The Door): Brett wins the award for silliest performance of the evening. Offbeat movement + hair tossing (ad nauseum) + terrible song selection = waste of fucking time. Send this kid back to wherever he came from. Painful
6. James Durbin sang You’ve Got Another Thing Comin‘ (Judas Priest): The rocker dude. Meh! The vocals were clean but the performance was lacking. He picked a terrible song for his voice.
7. Robbie Rosen sang Angels (Sarah MacLachlan): Robbie butchered MacLachlan’s beautiful song, vocally wandering aimlessly around the song’s melody switching in and out of his chest and falsetto voice. It was an ill-advised song choice. The silly grin he had on the face the entire time aggravated me. He really thought he was killing it. NOT!
8. Scott McCreery sang Letters From Home (John Michael Montgomery): Thankfully, Scott had the foresight to sing a song that fit his voice and style. It was a strong performance. Am I the only one who thinks Scott resembles the Mad Magazine character just without the freckles and gap teeth?
9. Stefano Langone sang Just The Way You Are (Bruno Mars): Ugh! Stefano was pretty weak and not because he can’t sing. His rendition of Just The Way You Are was emotionally flat. The vocals were cookie cutter and unspectacular. He was missing the true connection with the material he was singing.
10. Paul McDonald sang Maggie Mae (Rod Stewart): Paul is definitely a stylist. I wouldn’t label him a strong vocalist at all. However, if he can hone his thing he could sell a few albums. That said, I found his quirky and offbeat performance underwhelming. 30 seconds into it, I was ready for him to get off the stage. I don’t see him winning it all.
11. Jacob Lusk sang A House Is Not A Home (Luther Vandross): Jacob probably delivered the most flawless vocal performance of the evening. However, I was very disturbed by Jacob’s many facades. The fake humility and expressions of gratitude as he listened to the Judges’ critics; the exaggerated finger wagging to the heavens and reverence to God; the Freddie Jackson like strut downstage when the song began; and the Whitney Houston-esque quivering jaw/lips to punctuate his vibrato to close out his performance. I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard in the longest time. The man has issues.
12. Casey Abrams sang I Put A Spell On You (Screamin Jay Hawkins): I have no words for the bullshit Casey called a singing performance. The song choice was idiotic and his menacing, growling delivery of it was asinine.
Overall, the performances were shit. Only 2 or 3 of the vocalists sang songs that fit their voices and really showcased their talent. Hopefully, the Ladies will be a hundred times better this evening.