Jesse McCartney

Live: The Beautiful Soul Tour

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Released at the end of 2005, Live: The Beautiful Soul Tour is the second piece of product released in the wake of Jesse McCartney's 2004 debut, Beautiful Soul. It arrived just a few months after the release of the DVD Up Close, which contained a mix of music videos and live-in-the-studio performances, but no live concert material -- which is too bad, since this live album proves that McCartney needs visuals to make his live performances engaging. As a record, this only isn't flat and polished, but it sounds way too similar in arrangement and execution to the studio Beautiful Soul album. And since McCartney only has one album under his belt, Live draws very heavily from his debut -- ten of that album's 12 songs are here, with the other two songs being versions of "Good Life," which originally appeared on the soundtrack to the Disney Channel movie Stuck in the Suburbs, and "Best Day of My Life," which appeared on the soundtrack to the 2004 Hilary Duff film A Cinderella Story. Such recycling might make this a bit of a dull affair even for big McCartney fans, and they may also be a little dismayed to hear that their idol sounds thinner here than he does in the studio. Which isn't to say that this is a terrible record -- it's too professional and practiced to be bad -- but it's hardly an engaging one, and it's just a little to early in McCartney's career to be flooding the market with mediocre product like this, even if it will tide some tweeners over until the next proper album.

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