Jennifer Hudson has shed 80 pounds recently, but her lungs clearly haven't shrunk. Hudson may be the most talented singer that American Idol has produced; she's definitely the most powerful. Here, a who's who of big-time songwriters and producers (Rich Harrison, R. Kelly, Alicia Keys) serve up stormy ballads about romance and self-reliance that Hudson spices with gospel-style swoops. Sonically, the record is up-to-the-minute; in spirit it's a throwback to the adult-oriented R&B of Anita Baker, Toni Braxton and Whitney Houston. Hudson's a one-woman revival, with a voice so forceful it can roll back time.
From The Archives Issue 1128: April 14, 2011