It’s rather hard to believe that it’s been SIX years since Jordin Sparks released new music to the army of fans she earned after hits like “Battlefield” and “One Step At A Time”, but now she’s back, older, wiser, and some might say, even better.
Right Here, Right Now showcases, perhaps more than anything, the evolution she’s gone through over the years – she certainly isn’t a teenager anymore – and is far more confident in talking about mature content such as sex, whereas such an issue she tended to avoid when she first hit the big time at just 17.
Considering she was once a pop-darling, the inclusion of numerous rap duets (“Casual Love” featuring Shaggy being just one of them) might put off a lot of her long-time fans. However, the rather blatant use of metaphors for sex during “Work From Home” featuring B.o.B which begins proceedings, make that one in particular work quite well.
The inclusion of a saxophone on “1000” is perhaps the best part of the track, which is disappointing. She soon finds her form again by channeling huge powerhouses like Mariah Carey more than she ever has before, and nowhere is this more evident than via “Silhouette” which makes for one of the albums’ better numbers.
“They Don’t Give”, co-written by Babyface, is another highlight with a distinct 80’s feel. Sparks shies away from the more coded messages and songs about love on this album, another example of her evolution and personal progress, and instead opts to be quite blunt about her thoughts and feelings thanks to numbers such as “Tell Him I Love Him.”
There’s an undeniable maturity to Sparks’ new material; “100 Years” and closer “It Ain’t You” provide evidence of such, and for that she should be highly commended. Although Right Here, Right Now is a collection she is undoubtedly proud of, she’s also taken a huge step away from her other earlier material that her fans loved, and as a result she may yet find herself being alienated by those who stood by her then. Instead though, she'll be taken into the hearts and minds of new music fans looking for a deeper, stronger and more confident sound to listen to.