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Love & Life

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Album Review

LaToya London had a real good girl image while she was a finalist during the third season of American Idol. She was always perceived as strong, matronly, poised, and collected. At the time, she was married and had two stepchildren. Shortly after her fourth place finish on the show, she separated from her husband and her good girl image, as evidence on her debut album Love and Life on Peak Records. As expected, London still sounds amazing. Her vocals were consistently the strongest during her run on the show, and the album's vocals are no exceptions. Every power note is delivered with conviction, and every smooth, soft sound is crooned flawlessly. The only concern with the album is more the content itself. It borders on X-rated at points. Lines in "Waiting for You" and "Practice Makes Perfect" contain lyrics that are too inappropriate to even publish. In addition, the central focus of this album is sex. For a woman who made her fame on a family show, this style choice seems really risky. However, the impressive team of producers that London has chosen to work with have made a really smooth album that falls somewhere between an Ashanti release and a Jill Scott piece. London has a strong collection of hits that would appeal to different branches of the R&B/soul market. The lead single, "Appreciate" is a power single, complete with terrifically catchy beats, and a well placed rap by Black Thought from the Roots. The ballad portion of the album, especially considering London's decision to sing ballads continuously during the show, is rather paltry. What's really unfortunate is that the ballads are strong and impressive. "State of My Heart" is a poignant piece where London has never sounded better, even more so than on the show. Unfortunately, she has simply made some mistakes as an artist. By taking a sexually charged approach to R&B, she has lost many of the fans who supported her along the way, and her songwriting skills are not strong. London has co-written four tracks on the album, but they are four of the weaker tracks here. The highlight of the album comes right at the end, with "All by Myself," the Celine Dion ballad that first garnered attention for London. Perhaps this should send a message to London, that trying something different isn't always the way to go. In the very least, she sounds nice singing the inappropriate material.

Customer Reviews

THIS is more like it

THIS is what happens when gloppy "American Idol"-backed producers DON'T get their mitts on a real singer. She gets to go somewhere else and play to her strengths. If Fanasia Barino hadn't been forced into singing the crap they handed her on her first CD, she might be a star today. This is some great stuff from a great singer. Unfortunately, it's on an obsucre label. But at least LaToya can hold her head up high, her artistic integrity intact.

This has DEFINATELY become my favorite CD...

I am NOT a fan of 'American Idol' (very rarely watch it) so I was not aware of the controversy surrounding LaToya London being voted off. I downloaded Scandalous from ITunes based on a recommendation from a friend and I must say I LOVE this entitre collection! I play "Meet Me Halfway" on average once a day which is to me one of those ballads that will stand the test of time. This is by far one of the best CD's I have heard in a long time. She reminds me of a young Vanessa Williams when she first came out. No one gave her a chance to really make it and she proved them wrong with very melodic ballads and thought provoking lyrics like "Dreamin" and then "Save The Best for Last" on her follow-up album. I find LaToya has done the same thing with this first release and each song represents a true range of vocal ability and talent. For me, I have five (5) favorite artists now: India Arie, Alicia Key, Remy Shand, Jon legand and now I have added LaToya London to my list. I am a fan and look for great things from LaToya in the future. I have recommended this CD to everyone

Its about time...

i LOVED Latoya on American Idol....however, i was EXTREMELY upset when Jasmine stayed and Latoya left. What morons America is! Anyways, when Scandalous came out on itunes for a free download, i immediatly downloaded it and have been listening to it ever since. Now that the album has come out, i've bought it also. I love it!!! Latoya is an authenic and true talent, through and through. Now that her american idol ordeal is over, its obvoius that she's singing and enjoying what she can and WANTS to sing.You can hear it. Buy her album and help support an amazing talent that america passed by the first time around.

Love & Life, LaToya London
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