Jessica Mauboy is barely recognisable as the kid judge Kyle Sandilands infamously suggested could lose a bit of puppy fat when she was a runner-up on
four years ago.
Since leaving the show, she has transformed into a svelte, lipsticked and high-heeled party girl, has successfully released a debut studio album, gone to LA and succeeded in asking Snoop Dogg and Ludacris to rap on this, her sophomore record. Mauboy rose to fame because of her saucy R'n'B voice, and not so much her ability to write meaningful songs. This dance-heavy album is an extension of that, although she did pen
. Interestingly, these are two of the least-nasally, autotuned and over-produced songs on the record, and are among the handful that do her justice.
Elsewhere, in the likes of
, Mauboy struts a fine line between tuneful and piercing shriek. Like many of the songs on the album, they lack stickability and will probably merge into a fluoro-tainted pool of background pop played in cheap clothing stores. Not that there is anything wrong with cheap clothing stores, it's just that's probably not what she was going for when she decided she wanted to be famous.
But, Mauboy's got the potential to be uber-cool, and shows this when she gets her ghetto on in Foreign and turns smouldering in
Fight For You
. Let's just hope she is given more control next time around.