M Becker/American Idol 2008/Getty Images
Mikael Wood
May 13, 2009 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Love Is

Current Status
In Season
Ruben Studdard

We gave it a B+

The bear-huggable American Idol champ is in predictably fine voice on his fourth studio set, Love Is, a romance-themed mix of crafty originals and sturdy covers (including ”The Long and Winding Road”). Yet Ruben Studdard also takes some unexpected stylistic chances here, giving Ne-Yo a run for his dance-pop money on the StarGate-produced ”How You Make Me Feel” and working with country star John Rich on a totally gorgeous rendition of Extreme’s ”More Than Words.” The Ray Charles of Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music would be proud. B+

Download This: Listen to the song More Than Words on the artist?s MySpace page

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