cd review Brooke White, "High Hopes and Heartbreak" (June Baby)
It's surprising to see "American Idol" judge Randy Jackson's name attached to White's first post-"Idol" release. The gifted singer/songwriter always seemed an anachronism on the teen-driven program (but made it into Season Seven's top five). Jackson allows White to continue in her easygoing '70s vibe and doesn't push her to be overly contemporary, even when she pulls out a credible Kings of Leon cover ("Use Somebody").
White is best in thoughtful mode, as on the melancholic "Out of the Ashes," a ballad that easily could have been plucked from a Carly Simon album, or the breezy "California Song," in which she name-drops America, the Mamas and the Papas and Joni Mitchell's "Ladies of the Canyon."
The disco-lite title track is the closest to modernity Jackson prods White toward. But, even here, the infectious melody and reliance on timeless instrumentation -- as opposed to trendy hardware -- make "High Hopes" a peaceful, easy feeling to take on the road.
HOWARD COHEN, MIAMI HERALD