The Return
by Ruben Studdard, pop/R&B (2006)
J-Records, $18.97, ASIN B00130973W


Why you wanna change me
Flip all the thangs that really make me
The way that I am
Used to make you happy
Baby why u wanna change me
You used to like your big old teddy bear
You used to let me get it anywhere
Now baby
It's crazy
Why why
Why you wanna change me

Poor Ruben Studdard. The above is from the song Change Me, which could easily be extrapolated into a rant from Mr Studdard complaining that he doesn't understand why people seemed to stop caring about him after the second season of American Idol has ended. Make your own joke here about the recording company dropping him after he refused to let them change him.

The Return is a solid good album with many, many good songs here that will appeal especially if you're a fan of soulful male R&B vocalists. The problem here here lies in the words to the songs. Let's just say that nearly all the songs here are in one way or the other Mr Studdard getting on with the ladies. And oh boy, we are talking about many, many ladies here. Unfortunately, we aren't talking about sophisticated sexiness here. Just take a look at the first verse of In Da Crib and tell me if he doesn't sound embarrassingly juvenile.

Hey there, sexy lady over there
Girl, you looking so good, girl I swear
That I wanna have you on my team
No bench baby girl, you can start for me

The Return is therefore a contradictory album of sorts. I love the fourteen songs here, they are really good. My favorite song will have to be I'm Not Happy. But at the same time, I find myself cringing at some of the things that he is singing in these songs. If there is a way that someone can turn back time and rewrite those songs so that they sound less corny, The Return would be a near-perfect album.

Rating: 87


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