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Candice Glover's 'Music Speaks': What the Critics Are Saying

The 'American Idol' season 12 winner steps off the mainstream stage with her heartfelt album debut.

Candice Glover Music Speaks Cover - S 2014
"Music Speaks"

American Idol’s season 12 winner Candice Glover strays away from mainstream pop with the release of her ballad-heavy album, Music Speaks.

STORY: 'American Idol' Winner Candice Glover Drops 'Music Speaks'

Though the 12-track album debuted short of the top 5 on iTunes’ album sales chart, it shot to the top of iTunes' R&B chart and touts the soulful sound that the songstress was famed for while competing on the Fox singing show -- a decision that drew mixed critical reviews.

Read a sampling of what top critics are saying about Music Speaks:

"Glover’s debut showcases her immense talent and bucks a formulaic trend many R&B singers have fallen prey to in recent years. This is a traditional song-based disc without the barrage of guest MCs added for crossover appeal,” writes The Boston Globe’s Ken Capobianco. "The focus remains solidly on Glover’s rich, expansive voice. Unlike most CDs from Idol contestants, the artist’s personality is not lost amidst a vapid, commercial production."

Los Angeles Times' Mikael Wood describes the album’s track list positively: "There are signs of individual life here: the palpable regret in 'Damn,' about falling in love 'with someone else's man;' the old-fashioned sass suffusing 'In the Middle;' the tension between desire and virtue in 'Passenger,' with a characteristically woozy beat by producer Mike Will Made It." He adds, "TV's loss is music's gain."

STORY: Candice Glover Talks Finally Releasing 'Music Speaks' Debut Album

However, Rolling Stone’s Christopher R. Weingarten disagrees: "The songs reveal a serious identity crisis. An entire album of cosmopolitan Mark Ronson-esque pop soul like 'Same Kinda Man' and the Shabba Ranks-interpolating 'In the Middle' could have been revelatory. Instead, those highlights are jumbled between too many grooves that recall a vague, anonymous version of the decade between Jennifer Holliday and Mary J. Blige."

Yet Jim Farber of New York Daily News gave Music Speaks four stars and praises the album for taking risks. "If all this makes Glover sound as old and irrelevant as Idol itself, think again. It’s just the right approach for her sensibility and voice...Feminists may roll their eyes, but there’s strength in Glover’s openness about her needs. It helps that her smooth voice sits so comfortably on the songs, content to illuminate their fine tunes rather than over-embellish them with flash."

Twitter: @Idol_Worship