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RJ Helton - 'Real Life'

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

By

RJ Helton - Real Life

RJ Helton - Real Life

Gospocentric Records

The Bottom Line

First discovered on "American Idol", RJ deserves the attention he got as a finalist. This youth-oriented CD showcases both his talent and his message well.
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Pros

  • Full of passion, energy, and talent
  • Message very well delivered
  • His emotive powers enable him to connect with his listeners in a compelling way

Cons

  • A bit over-produced
  • Tends to be a bit of sameness in the instrumentation throughout

Description

  • Style: R & B/Pop
  • 12 songs
  • Released March 23, 2004

Guide Review - RJ Helton - 'Real Life'

RJ Helton was one of the top 5 finalists in the premiere season of "American Idol" and it is quickly apparent why. This debut CD is surprisingly good. Helton quickly displays his wide vocal range. Most of this material is fresh and interesting and, as we already expected, RJ can really sing!

The opener is my favorite, "Even If", bursting out of the box full of truth and passion. The Latin-flavored R&B tune is worth the price of the CD alone. It is followed by another strong tune, "My Devotion", a very contemporary sound with a break-in by rapper CZ and some hot trumpet by George Tidwell. "Love Song" beautifully portrays the greatest commandment, as the bridge proclaims to love God "with my heart, with my soul, with my strength, with my mind, with my life". This song, like most, is heavily flavored with rich Spanish strings and RJ's passionate voice is achingly sweet in the pop ballad.

One of the most interesting is "Delicate", a dramatic tune dealing with child abuse. Helton's intensity might lead you to believe that this song is autobiographical. If so, he will prove to be very helpful to other survivors, as both he and the song brim over with triumph through the pain. RJ Helton may have missed being crowned on "American Idol" but it seems very clear that a more significant crown may be his. Every heart will find something to touch them in this positive music.

Kevan Breitinger can be reached at Wordsmith4J@aol.com.

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