From the Vault...


Justin Guarini
"Justin Guarini"

© RCA/BMG/V9/S Records
Year of Release: 2003

track listing
  • One Heart Too Many
  • I Saw Your Face
  • Be A Heartbreaker
  • Unchained Melody
  • Sorry
  • How Will You Know
  • Inner Child
  • Condition Of My Heart
  • Doin' Things
    (We're Not
    Supposed To)
  • Get Here
    (Brand New Version)
  • Timeless
    (with Kelly Clarkson)

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    Justin Guarini related sites:
    Justin Guarini Website
    Previous Review: #1161
    Joe Satriani--The Extremist
    Next Review: #1163
    Jimi Hendrix Experience--Are You Experienced
    Justin Guarini
    "Justin Guarini"

    American Idol Season One runner-up Justin Guarini becomes the second Idol finalist to appear on our review pages at (Second season winner Ruben Studdard was the first: I Need An Angel.

    I didn't watch the entire Season One of American Idol; but I did see Justin Guarini and Kelly Clarkson on an episode of while I was channel surfing one night when it was getting close to the finale. (Watching this show inspired me the idea to promote our own "WSVNRadio finalists"; by creating The WSVNRadio Hall Of Fame.)

    As I read the reviews of Justin's debut album (it is now out-of-print; I was able to get a copy of this CD from an seller), listeners either enjoyed it or hated it. As I, myself listened, I cannot say I hate this album, nor can I really rant and rave about it, by calling it a superior release.

    The good news, is that most of the songs have a great R&B flavor, as heard in the music of Usher. Songs such as "I Saw Your Face, "How Will You Know, "Condition Of My Heart" all have a very loving, romantic style as the ballads of Usher and his familiarities. There are times that sometimes I cannot tell the difference, between Usher and Guarini. "Condition Of My Heart" would probably be the best standout song from this kinds of songs. Another Usher-soundalike is "Doin' Things (We're Not Supposed To". More common upbeat R&B sound has "If You Wanna,"""Thinking Of You." "Get Here (Brand New Version)" has the softer Usher-soundalike style. The closing tune is another soft Usher-sounding duet, "Timeless" with Season One winner Kelly Clarkson.

    The opening track, "One Heart Too Many" has a latin flavor, as compared to Santana's "Maria Maria." Unfortunately, his version of the Righteous Brothers' "Unchained Melody" is fairly well, but not as superb as the original. (Maybe Season Two runner-up Clay Aiken would have sounded better, but in the end, no one could really compete with Bill Medley & Bobby Hatfield.

    Season One winner Kelly Clarkson would have a much stronger future as Justin. He co-produced and handled his second album independently through his own label, Stranger Things Have Happened, as he moved forward into the style of Jazz. Stranger would consist of his own versions of Jazz standards. In 2008, he would release a 3-song EP, Revolve, as these songs would possibly surface on his third album, to be released in the future. In the meantime, he worked with other Jazz-related artists, and also wrote a religious composition for charity.

    The softer ballads are the standouts on self-titled debut Justin Guarini. Most of these songs could easily relate to Season Two winner Ruben Studdard, as his softer Christian songs were heard on I Need An Angel. Comparing to the likes of Usher and even Ruben Studdard must be great comparisons, as both of these singers would acheive great status in the R&B movement. Justin Guarini's debut album is enjoyable, but not as superior as others, but it's still a good album to listen to.

    Most, (if not all), of the songs of the American Idol debut albums were most likely hand picked by the likes of the Idol producers. I'm sure for some, these songs may not have been favorable. Most of the debut albums by the Idol winners were not as popular, some were actual bombs. But for some, like Justin Guarini, Ruben Studdard, Bo Bice, and Taylor Hicks, they would resurface on a new label (preferrably their own), and record music that THEY really wanted to achieve: A singer/musician's pure creativity to sing, perform and be comfortable and proud of what they recorded should be the way it should be. Although every Idol finalist had to start somewhere, it's great to see them branch on their own with their own creativity and accomplish their dreams to be a success in their own rights.

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    Previous Review: #1161
    Joe Satriani--The Extremist
    Next Review: #1163
    Jimi Hendrix Experience--Are You Experienced