On The Download: Allison Iraheta

Being the third-runner up on “American Idol” can be either a boon or a blessing. Remember Anthony Fedorov or LaKisha Jones? Nope, nor do most people!

But you may have heard of a guy with the last name of Daughtry? Or perhaps you’ve followed the semi-successful genre-specific careers of Josh Gracin, Tamyra Gray or LaToya London?

Season eight’s third-runner up, Allison Iraheta, was signed to Jive Records (the same label to which winner Kris Allen was signed), as soon as the label was allowed to sign her. In Allison, we have one of “Idol’s” best all-time voices and one of the most packaged rock personas since Chris Daughtry presented himself in season five.

Allison comes roaring out of the gate on her debut album. Reminiscent in many ways of her now-label mate, Pink, Allison has put out what I’d describe as a freshman effort perfectly suited to her talents. She is a pop-rock artist who sings way beyond her years. Allison should have a long career in front of her (after all, she’s only all of 17 years old!).

Lead single & album track, “Friday, I’ll Be Over U,” hearkens back to an ‘80s sound, reminiscent of the Violent Femmes.

And from there, Allison is just getting warmed up. Although the album’s second track, “Robot Love,” feels a bit … robotic to me, she bounces right back with the ballad “Just Like You.”

Next up is the album’s stand out track, “Don’t Waste The Pretty.” “Don’t waste the pretty on him… Don’t waste the pretty on pain…” the chanteuse sings compellingly to pop music perfection.

Next up is the best ballad on the album, “Scars,” a battle wound of which this talented young woman probably has very few of at this point in her life.

Additional tracks worth listening twice to include rock anthem “Pieces,” ballad “Still Breathing” and the Pat Benatar or Patty Smyth-like stylings of “Beat Me Up” (my second favorite track on the album!).

The only drawback to Allison at this point… I literally feel like I’m listening to Pink at times – to the unaccustomed ear, they’re indistinguishable. Fortunately, I love Pink, so this is a good thing.

As Allison grows into adulthood it will be interesting to see how she further establishes her identity.

But for now, this young woman’s off to a great start!

If You Download One Track, Make It:  “Don’t Waste The Pretty”

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