Review

The spunky kid sister to Kris Allen and Adam Lambert on season eight of American Idol, Allison Iraheta was the bridge between Allen’s sweet, sincere balladeering and Lambert’s arch camp. She still had some of Adam’s spice but could be packaged like Kris, not unlike her clear forebear Kelly Clarkson, who proved that sass could be bottled and sold. Just Like You is cut from the same cloth as Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” mode, all walls of guitars and huge Max Martin-styled hooks, some of which are indeed written by Martin himself, including the album’s standout, “Friday I’ll Be Over U.” When things slow down, Iraheta drifts into P!nk mode, assisted by the singer/songwriter herself on “No One Else” but not on the bluesy ballad “Scars," which is otherwise a dead ringer for P!nk. Allison may strongly resemble her idols here, but chalk that up to youth and it doesn’t prevent her from conveying considerable charisma. Unlike many Idol-raised divas, Allison Iraheta has a persona, singing with force and personality, coming alive with the right songs -- those Martin tunes, “Friday I’ll Be Over U” and “Just Like You,” “Don’t Waste the Pretty,” and fellow reality show contestant Dilana’s “Holiday.” ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

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