We gave it a C-
Returning to his original day job as a producer, American Idol judge Randy Jackson has assembled a trove of artists — from Elliott Yamin to Jason Mraz — to perform on a compilation album of mostly fresh material. He’s assured us it’ll be like ”listening to a great radio station.” And it is like a radio station, albeit the mediocre terrestrial kind that’s making people sign up for satellite in droves.
Solo turns go to Joss Stone, who strains mightily to be an urban hottie on ”Just Walk On By” (borrowing a couple lines, and sadly nothing else, from the Dionne Warwick oldie), and Paula Abdul, who avoids having to prove she can carry a tune, since ”Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow” is virtually tuneless. More often, Jackson crams two or three crooners into R&B-lite serenades, where the verse trading is completely random. You’ve scarcely registered that guest Richie Sambora can sing (on ”Willing to Try”) when he awkwardly passes the baton to Travis Tritt, who, in turn, passes it to Lucy Woodward. On a more promising note, ”I Understand,” the closing gospel number, lists Mariah Carey as one of four soloists — though not even an upper-octave-detecting dog could make her out in the vocal pileup. While Idol transforms anonymous talents into stars, Jackson manages, here, to reverse the equation. C-
DOWNLOAD THIS: Hear ”My R&B” on Randy Jackson’s MySpace page