In the first season of Fox TV's hugely successful American Idol, Justin Guarini was the runner-up to winner Kelly Clarkson.
In the first season of Fox TV's hugely successful American Idol, Justin Guarini was the runner-up to winner Kelly Clarkson. During his time on the show, Guarini proved himself to be an entertainer for the masses. And that's precisely where his head is on this, his debut album. In other words, Justin Guarini is firmly rooted in safe, harmless R&B and pop. Even a track like "Doin' Things (We're Not Supposed To)" is innocent enough. And while there's nothing wrong with that, there's nothing particularly memorable about it, either. A cover of "Unchained Melody" is too schmaltzy, while his take on Oleta Adams' hit "Get Here" goes nowhere fast. That said, a few tracks do stand out, including "Sorry" and "Condition of My Heart." Guarini's duet with Clarkson, the power ballad "Timeless"—featured in the pair's new movie, From Justin to Kelly—is the absolute high point; it's the stuff classics are made of. Sadly, there aren't more such moments on the album.—MP