Candice Glover won last season’s “American Idol” by demonstrating the kind of powerful vocal style not heard on the show since Jennifer Hudson. Glover’s debut showcases her immense talent and bucks a formulaic trend many R&B singers have fallen prey to in recent years. This is a traditional song-based disc without the barrage of guest MCs added for crossover appeal. The focus remains solidly on Glover’s rich, expansive voice. Unlike most CDs from “Idol” contestants, the artist’s personality is not lost amidst a vapid, commercial production. It helps that producers like The Underdogs and Rodney Jerkins give the songs plenty of flavor (“Coulda Been Me”) without diverting attention from the vocals. Jazmine Sullivan’s influence is quite apparent as she penned “Cried” and “Damn” sounds like an alternative scenario spin on her “In Love With Another Man.” A few tracks don’t feel lived in, as Glover relies too much on technique instead of feel. On songs like the Mike Will Made It-produced “Passenger,” though, she delivers vivid performances. (Out Tuesday)
ESSENTIAL “Coulda Been Me”Ken Capobianco can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.