Sunday, March 15, 2009

Album Review: Corbin Bleu - Speed of Light (3.5/5)

High School Musical star, Corbin Bleu returns with his sophomore effort, Speed of Light which racks up as a wide improvement from his debut album, 2007s Another Side, which was mainly packed with typical --cheesy Dinsey star going R&B stuff. The uptempo, ubran flavored "Deal With It" was the best cut on there. Corbin is the last of the 3 High School Music cast to emerge with an attempt at a solo career. The first of the bunch to emerge was Vanessa Hudgens with her debut effort, V, which admittedly carried some highlights like the glassy, "Say Ok" but nothing else noteworthy. Ashley Tisdale's 2007 debut Headstrong is possible the best of the bunch, the offering churned out the fiery single "He Said She Said" which I thought was brilliant.

Speed of Light marks an improvement from his last effort --it has more rich and polished feel, but still doesn't mark Corbin as a notable solo-artist. The album opens with the title track "Speed of Light" which is unusually melodic carrying through a nice electronic feel, but locking in the key urban feel. "Paralyzed" contains some distorted and breathy vocals from Corbin and synthesized noises in the background, the verses are notably lacking, the song is saved by the catchy chorus. "Moments That Matter" is built on nice piano work and a thundering bassline, additionally the song also holds a killer chorus.

The album doesn't contain that many slow moments, but more melodic which is 1 thing I really love about it. The cartoonish yet futuristic "Willing To Go" is a favorite. I love the layered vocals at the end of the chorus, with the repeat of the song title. "My Everything" is accompanied by distorted, but wonderful vocal performance carrying through a very rich feel. "Angel Cry" has a very angelic chorus, other parts of the song don't stick as well as they should, but it's a good attempt at an electronic meets balladry number. I like most of the stuff on here, but there are some duds, "Rock 2 It" is very cheesily sung, holding a reminiscent of one of those chanting cuts on the High School Musical soundtrack. "Close" is very messy, sounds more filler than anything else.

The album closes with the cheery "Celebrate You" which is another futuristic number. It features some bleeps and space-ish telephone rings aligned with the backing track, a very weird yet interesting closing number. I'm impressed with Speed of Light because my expectations weren't that high to begin with, it's a definite improvement from Another Side. A Definite must-buy? I'm not too sure.

Best Tracks: Speed of Light, Moments That Matter, Whatever It Takes, Willing To Go, Angel Cry


Nikki said...

It's really late but I can't believe I only saw your review on this now! ARGH.

I don't know - this album was generic and way too processed for my taste. I absolutely worship 'Moments That Matter' and 'Champion' is pretty close but it's like the rest of the album just slides along without notice for me - only those two songs really stood out.

Anonymous said...

I have to admit that Corbin Bleu's earlier stuff wasn't something I'd recommend to people. His first effort aside, I am a fan of "Moments That Matter." Personally it felt like Corbin was channeling a little Michael Jackson. It's encouraging that he's seems to be growing.