Corbin Bleu

Another Side

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

Straight off the success of another Disney movie (High School Musical followed by Jump In), teen heartthrob Corbin Bleu released his debut, Another Side, ostensibly to show that there's more to him than just his acting and his pretty face. However, what the album illustrates most of all is that Bleu has an impressive production and songwriting team and plenty of money to make a hit record rather than any particular immense talent of his own. The singer's voice is decent in its own right, though not spectacular, and fits the kind of pop/R&B that's being churned out in spades, but Bleu isn't able to give himself much of an identity or personality beyond that. The music itself doesn't help, either. The 12 tracks that make up Another Side don't distinguish themselves from any other of the teen pop songs out there. They are catchy, but only in the most generic of ways, with too many synthesized beats and other instruments that are processed beyond the point of recognition. Yes, there are moments when Bleu seems to find his voice -- the stalkerish "Homework," the Ne-Yo-penned "I Get Lonely" -- but more often than not the tracks all seem to be knock-offs of older Disney faves *NSYNC (and similarly, Justin Timberlake, who Bleu often seems to be mimicking) or even the Cheetah Girls; it's pure TV-channel-created pop, meant to support and reflect the tween dynasty they've created. Bleu and Co. are trying to appeal to a sense of fun, to singing along in the car with your friends (as your mom drives), but it's so generic and produced it doesn't even do that. And with that one objective failed, Another Side loses its own purpose completely.

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