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I Need an Angel

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Album Review

It makes a certain amount of sense that Ruben Studdard's second album is a contemporary gospel album. His first album, 2003's Soulful, was pitched toward an urban soul audience, and an urban contemporary gospel album is a natural extension of that attitude, since the basic sound isn't all that far removed: the slow, smooth grooves are an uncanny ringer for the sound of quiet storm, only with a religious spin. Studdard sings songs from and works with many of the major names in contemporary gospel music — Bill Gaither, Walter Hawkins, Fred Hammond, Marvin Winans, plus R. Kelly — and while there are a number of cooks in the kitchen, the resulting album, I Need an Angel, winds up being cohesive since it's all coming from the same perspective. It's all easy-rolling, smooth, and polished slow grooves, sometimes easing by on the sound of the record, other times gelling quite nicely thanks to some sturdily written and arranged songs. Ruben sounds considerably better here than he did on Soulful — the voice doesn't sound rushed or thin, it sounds like he had the time in the studio to concentrate and give good performances. He still isn't blessed with a tremendous amount of on-record charisma, but he sounds nice and grounds the album, giving it a likeable focus when it starts to sound a little samey. So, while it has no standout cuts, on the whole I Need an Angel winds up being a bit more solid than his proper debut and suggests that Studdard may be developing the skills that will given him an actual career outside of the confines of American Idol.

Customer Reviews

I Love This CD

Reuben did a fabulous job on this gospel cd. It has a nice old school gospel touch with Reuben's soulful ballads. I Love This CD. I Love it so much that I lost my CD and I'm now downloading it again from ITUNES. Keep up it Rueben......

I love this guy!

A past idol and a christian singer. A great singer with a great voice. He is awesome

ruben studdard, i need an angel

This album is up there with the greastest gospel singers. I truly loved this album. Along with Ruben, there are really great gospel singers on this album. Listening to the album, will lift your spirit to an awesome high. Go buy this album you wont go wronge.


Born: July 14, 1978 in Birmingham, AL

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Partway through the second American Idol competition in early 2003, guest judge Gladys Knight christened corpulent crooner Ruben Studdard a "velvet teddy bear," a nod to his smooth, Luther Vandross-styled voice and his Barry White-sized girth. The nickname stuck, since it captured the persona of the 25-year-old native of Birmingham, Alabama, who had unexpectedly become the front-runner in the televised talent show. Surrounded by skinny kids emulating Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini, the two singers...
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