Recorded back when she was still on Nickelodeon starring in True Jackson VP, Keke Palmer releases her unheard second album for public consumption.
The singer said that the reason that this album never saw the light of day until now is that record execs, being unable to pigeonhole her, left her feeling dissatisfied and not wanting to release new music because of the lack of industry support. While we’re trying to figure out what she meant by that considering that she did release both a mixtape and an album, entitled Awaken and Awaken Reloaded respectively, in 2011 (just after True Jackson wrapped) and another mixtape in 2012, we still were will to give this a chance to hear what the execs had such a problem with.
And, after listening, we kind of agree with the execs. This album suffers from what a lot of albums from that era suffered from, generic sound. While there are a few songs that have potential, like Spotlight, Favorite, and Heartless, most of this album needs a production upgrade to break the monotony of the underlying music. There is some saving grace in the lyrics, though, as every song makes sense and many of them have an affirming theme about how to be your best self (given that she was 16 at the time of the original potential release, this would have been a great overall message of confidence for teenage girls).
Palmer’s voice is not quite as strong as it would be just a few years later, so her vocals aren’t as full as some of her later songs, but they are by no means weak. She does her best with each track and shows enough restraint to not overly adlib while also not sounding bored and confused about what to do next. She is the saving grace of most of the songs, which can be a rarity for someone so young.
While it isn’t the best thing you will hear this week, it is worth a few listens, however, if only to pick the diamonds out of the rough.
You can download the tracks individually by clicking the arrow in the player or in one package by clicking the button below it.