Full disclosure: I loved Allison Iraheta on season 8 of American Idol more than Grey’s Anatomy loves having characters bump into each other on the elevator. But I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been a little bit worried about what kind of material the red-headed rocker would get for her forthcoming debut album – slated to drop Dec. 1 on 19 Recordings/Jive Records.
Having recently reviewed the unspeakably awful new disc from Selena Gomez (and having also drawn the short-straw assignment of Demi Lovato’s 2008 piffle Don’t Forget), I’m tragically familiar with what I can only guess is a major-label edict that teenage artists be brainwashed into thinking that rock & roll dates only as far back as Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated.”
Thus, it’s with a sigh of relief that I can say Allison’s debut single, “Friday I’ll Be Over U” (the first 2:20 of which is streaming at PopEater) is the real deal, an aggressively jaunty kiss-off track that juxtaposes genuine, hard-edged attitude from Idol’s season 8 fourth-place finisher with a chorus as unapologetically addictive as Grape Bubble Yum.
Right from the opening “Oh yeah,” you can tell Allison’s having a great time dragging her lie-telling crush back to the customer-service desk for a full-money refund, and the age-appropriate lyrics (“Got my heart by tellin’ lies/ You weren’t what you advertised”) seem designed to spark mass sing-alongs with teenage girls (both inner and actual) across the nation.
Even better, when Allison repeats the song’s title at the end of the second verse – “No, no, I ain’t gonna cry/ Go and be with her tonight/ I really don’t care what you do/ ‘Cause Friday I’ll be over you” – the tart twist of harmony comes off like an homage to Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” (with hints of the Runaways’ “Cherry Bomb” and an opening guitar line that somehow reminds me of Blur’s “Song 2” thrown in for good measure).
That’s not a surprise, seeing how “Since U Been Gone,” like “Friday I’ll Be Over U,” was produced by Swedish pop maestro Max “U > You” Martin. If I had one complaint about “Friday,” it’s that Martin has ironed out Allison’s vocals a little too aggressively on the chorus: Seriously, why starch into submission something that would only benefit from some wonderfully lackadaisical wrinkles? But all that aside, it’s undeniably thrilling to hear a radio-ready pop track from a teenage diva whose voice is strong enough to hold up all by itself (73 autotuned layers and small army of backing vocalists not included).
Bottom line: “Friday I’ll Be Over You” isn’t even available for download yet, but I sense this one is gonna get the kind of repeat-function treatment on my iPod that’ll rapidly propel it to my Top 10 Most-Played list alongside Beyonce’s “Freakum Dress,” Jody Watley’s “A Beautiful Life” and Roisin Murphy’s “Overpowered.” Which is exactly the kind of real world, post-Idol response Allison will need to propel herself from reality TV contestant to Billboard-charting threat.
What do you think of “Friday I’ll Be Over U”? Check out the high-quality PopEater clip (or listen to a rougher YouTube cut after the jump), see our references to “Friday” in this week’s Réalité, then vote in our poll. (And for all the latest in Idol insanity, follow me on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak!)
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