Jessica Sanchez's 2013 major-label debut, Me, You & the Music, creates a showcase for the 2012 American Idol runner-up's big, soulful voice and contemporary pop style. Working with a handful of producers including Toby Gad, J.R. Rotem, the Benassi Bros. and the Underdogs, Sanchez delivers a batch of high-energy, dance-oriented R&B cuts that frame her robust vocals. She unabashedly takes her cues from other modern pop divas, whether she’s channeling the brassy soul of Beyoncé or the bright, nasal shouts of Rihanna. These comparisons shouldn't come as a surprise. During her time on AmIdol it was noted how much she sounded like Rihanna, and the sentiment sticks on this album -- though Sanchez might have a better vocal instrument than her forebear. Sanchez and her producers even go so far as to cover Tom Petty's 1985 hit, "Don't Come Around Here No More" (retitled "Don't Come Around"), shifting its style away from its Beatles psych-pop origins to a very Rihanna-esque midtempo club number, replete with Jamaican-ized dancehall enunciation. Which isn't to say that the track, or the album for that matter, is bad. On the contrary, much of Me, You & the Music is pristinely crafted and undeniably catchy; music that will appeal to fans of the post-Mariah Carey school of pop melisma and R&B. It also doesn't hurt that Sanchez gets a bit of support on the album via big name guest appearances from singers like Ne-Yo and Prince Royce. Ultimately, even if Me, You & the Music isn’t the most original-sounding album, it’s still one of the more efficient platforms for introducing an American Idol contestant to the charts than any we’ve seen before.
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AllMusic Review by Matt Collar