American Idol winner Jordin Sparks follows up her No. 3 smash 'No Air' with a re-release of 'Tattoo'... The talented teen co-wrote the track with acclaimed British songwriter Amanda Ghost ('You're Beautiful', 'Beautiful Liar' et al)
Really, with that pedigree this song should have been called 'Beautiful Tattoo', surely? Any writing credit for Sparks herself seems to have gone AWOL, in fact, though there are credits for another British songwriter - former EMF man Ian Dench - and for Stargate, the writing/production team who've worked on so much of this album already.
The result of that is a US Top 10 hit that radio lapped up but the record buying public in the UK were calmer about; admittedly, the ultimate chart peak is deflated by the fact that it was climbing there ever since the repromotion started, whereas even a couple of years earlier they could have held back sales to the time when a CD single was released and let it enter in at least the Top 20, but a truly massive song would have broken out anyway. Of course it's always a bit of a problem for foreign talent show winners to succeed in countries where the audience aren't already invested in them (American Idol is apparently shown in the UK but to a relatively tiny audience) but I'd like to think that the blandness of the song is a part of the problem too. Like a lot of this first disc, it's not just formulaic but seems actively resistant to doing anything that might attract your attention, as if they're scared of waking up the audience. It's not just that there's noting jarring or dramatic, but everything is totally predictable, every part of the melody goes exactly where you'd expect it too. It's what makes something like the Will Young song stand out more than it arguably should.
Rather like Jennifer Hudson (and indeed many other Idol acts), Sparks has been somewhat quiet on the recording front after the first couple of years; her last album release was in 2009. She does however appear as a guest vocalist with her boyfriend Jason Derulo on his new album, which is coincidentally called Tattoos.
Meanwhile, since I haven't posted it yet, here's a photo of the first disc from Now 71. It is a nice shade of purple, but if you decide to get it tattooed on yourself that's your own responsibility.
Also appearing on: Now 70 [with Chris Brown], 73
Available on: Jordin Sparks