Jennifer Hudson released her highly anticipated sophomore album, I Remember Me, on Arista Records on March 22. The record is the follow-up to Hudson’s 2008 self-titled debut, which debuted on Billboard’s Top 200 chart at number two. Hudson won a Grammy Award for her debut effort in 2009 for Best R&B Album.
“I’m excited about this album because it’s almost like a renewal for me, reflected through the chapters of my life,” Hudson revealed in a press release. “I’ve called it I Remember Me because of the journey I’ve been on. I’ve learned that life constantly surprises you, no matter your plans. My fans have been so loyal, I feel like they have been on this
journey with me.”
Hudson collaborated with Ryan Tedder, Swizz Beatz, Alicia Keys, and Ne-Yo on her sophomore effort.
The lead off single, “Where You At” a slower, ballad-like song was written and produced by R. Kelly. Hudson performed the single during a recent results show at her old stomping grounds, American Idol.
That was the first time I had ever heard the single, and to be honest, I found it to be quite boring. Even after listening to the recording, the song wasn’t really holding my attention. I will never understand why performers choose ballads to lead off an album. Nothing about that song captured my attention or made me feel like I had to hear the rest of her album.
That said, there are some tracks that did stand out to me on I Remember Me, including “No One Gonna Love You,” “Angel,” and title track, “I Remember Me.”
The album opens with “No One Gonna Love You,” which was produced by Rich Harris. The song has a slight storyteller vibe to it, where Hudson is telling the person she’s singing to that she’s gone through things in her past, but that they won’t hold her back from loving that someone the best she knows how.
I really love how hard the notes are hit on the piano. It gives the song an attitude, and I found myself in the mood to dance to it. The song does a great job of grasping your attention throughout the length of the song.
Another track that stood out to me was the Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz-produced “Angel.” The duo produced another one of the tracks on Hudson’s album, but this is the one I kept coming back to listen to over and over again. The beat really gets in your head, and the notes that Hudson hits repeatedly during the chorus are outstanding.
The title of Hudson’s latest album, I Remember Me, comes from a poem the songstress had written. It was transformed into the title track and co-written by OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder. This is probably my favorite track on the album. The song has an honesty and personal touch about it that some of the other tracks seem to be missing. There are moments of reflection and vulnerability about it that will allow the listener to emotionally connect with the lyrics.
Overall, Hudson’s album is very much an uplifting one with a good cross between R&B and gospel music. I found the one major flaw to be the track listing. The album doesn’t flow in a way that I felt I could sit down and listen to it in one sitting without skipping songs.
Jennifer Hudson’s sophomore album, I Remember Me is available now. For more information on the singer, check out her official website.
Definite Downloads: “No One Gonna Love You” and “I Remember Me”