Candice Glover makes a strong debut. (Interscope Records)
Candice Glover originally planned to release her debut two months after she won “American Idol” last May. She postponed it — twice. Time is definitely on her side though: “Music Speaks,” from Interscope, is one of the better “Idol” debuts.
Glover is a vocal powerhouse on the 12-track set full of pop ballads and R&B numbers that fit together nicely. Most post-”Idol” albums lack personality and a sense of cohesiveness. But Glover paints an intriguing portrait of a woman lost in love.
She kicks off the album with the top-notch “Cried,” co-written by one of her contemporary influences, Jazmine Sullivan. “Die without You” echoes Brandy — but with stronger vocals — while “Same Kind of Man” and the powerful “Forever That Man” mirror Fantasia.
The 24-year-old hasn’t found her voice entirely, and all of the songs aren’t complete winners (like the Mike WiLL Made-It-produced “Passenger”), but Glover demonstrates promise. She coos beautifully on “Kiss Me,” which sounds like a future radio hit, and she shines on the beat-driven, Southern hip-hop-flavored “Coulda Been Me” and onthe piano-tune “Damn.”
Glover stole the show on “Idol” when she performed a wide-range of songs, from Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” to the Cure’s “Lovesong,” which she includes on the new album. Her debut proves her potential. GRADE: B+