Jessica Mauboy
Been Waiting


3.0
good

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
April 24th, 2009 | 71 replies | 9,224 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This relatively inoffensive debut of original songs from a teenage Australian Idol runner-up contains enough impressive cuts around a dreary middle section to suggest that she has a future.

While it may have been all about winning when the series began, one cannot help but get the feeling that finishing as runner-up may be the preferred outcome of ‘(insert country name) Idol’ contestants nowadays. Without the extra pressure that comes from record labels and viewers, place-getters are often given more freedom as musical artists, while still gaining the priceless exposure from the television series.

With possibly one exception, four out of the first five seasons of Australian Idol has arguably seen the runner-up eventually be more successful than the series winner. On series 4 back in 2006, a diverse final trio saw a South African born male pop-singer, an indigenous female specializing in contemporary R&B, and a 30 year old Irish born crooner. As it was, the latter (Damien Leith) won the series and has gone on to sell over 300,000 albums. However, two years later, 19 year old runner-up Jessica Mauboy snuck up from nowhere and scored two Australian top 10 singles.

Due to the show’s fanbase, it would be foolish to read too much into high-charting singles from former Idol contestants. However, in this case, it is actually deserving as both cuts are quality pop songs that dip their feet into other popular genres. Lead single ‘Running Back’ is one-part smooth ballad with its twinkling piano loop and lovelorn lyrics, and one-part contemporary hip-hop with its deceptively slinky vocals and effective – if phoned in – Flo Rida cameo. Meanwhile, 2nd single ‘Burn’ is almost as good with its restrained use of electronica combining with a contagious chorus to result in a song which will be just as at home on radio as it is in the clubs.

Splitting the aforementioned lead singles and making for an impressive opening trio is the title track which has been released as the 3rd single. However, from there, the middle portion of the album takes a turn towards the pace, style and themes which will be all too familiar for both Idol fans and detractors. Describing the grouping of songs between tracks 4 (ballad ‘Used2b’) and 8 (an unnecessary & mediocre cover of Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Time After Time’) as the “Whitney Houston Syndrome” should sum it up. It is an inoffensive batch of cuts that may have something minor to like which keep them from being awful, but are otherwise close to bordering on the mundane.

Mauboy’s voice is what one would describe as the prototypical Idol voice for a female contestant. During fleeting moments, she may blow you away with her combination of power and emotion. However, for the most part, the wow factor is only fleeting and she will often struggle across all registers. At those times, she actually reminds a little of Paula Abdul and it is not a surprise to hear auto-tune occasionally (if not over-) used. To their credit, the six producers used on ‘Been Waiting’ do a satisfactory job in doing what is required for the betterment of each individual piece.

Thankfully, Jessica leaves us on a strong note with all three final tracks impressing, and showcasing her talent and variety. ‘Back2u’ emits an extremely positive vibe among its smooth vocal harmonies. ‘Up/Down’ is the album’s dancefloor anthem and sees the teenager adapt surprisingly well to its up-tempo nature. While album closer ‘Let Me Be Me’ finishes things off well enough with a nice strings-assisted coming of age tale.

Considering expectations were rather low for this release, it is indeed a pleasant surprise. While there is not anything too original included on it, ‘Been Waiting’ is a cut above the usual Idol fare and contains three or four genuinely impressive cuts around a dreary middle section. Considering Mauboy is still a teenager and shows a relatively good knack for adapting to a variety of particular styles of music, this is an impressive debut (of original songs) which suggests that there could indeed be quality music to look forward to in the future as she matures and gains experience.

Recommended Tracks: Running Back, Burn & Back2u.



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user ratings (2)
Chart.
2.5
average

Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2009



20830 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Reports suggest that Mauboy has impressed U.S labels and this will get a release there (& probably in the U.K) later in 2009.

upagainstthewall
April 24th 2009



838 Comments


Gah, another 'idol' product. Though at least she as some catchy tunes, aka 'Running Back'. Did you hear that she made radio stations take of the single 'Burn' off air during the recent bush fires to try and be respectful to the victims?

Oh, and awesome review as per-normal Davey!

.This Message Edited On 04.24.09

upagainstthewall
April 24th 2009



838 Comments


I am also expecting a Wes Carr review from you Davey! lol

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2009



20830 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Gee, any time you mention the word "idol" around here, you can hear a pin drop. Haha.

Thanks James. Are you certain it was her that made radio stop playing 'Burn'? I thought it was the stations themselves. Because I highly doubt that Kings of Leon would have done the same with 'Sex on Fire'.

upagainstthewall
April 24th 2009



838 Comments


Though remember Kings of Leon didnt play 'Sex on Fire' at Sound Relief?

I can't be to sure, though from what I heard it was her decision

Athom
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2009



17130 Comments


never seen Australian Idol (due to my being American), but it spawned Lisa Mitchell so it has to be doing something right. great review.

Digging: LCD Soundsystem - The Long Goodbye

upagainstthewall
April 24th 2009



838 Comments


I think she was a special case, since she has left the 'pop' bias of the show and gone with a 'Lyrical/Folk' basis, which wins many a heart over in Australia if done correctly!

Phil
April 24th 2009



1473 Comments


I heard her sing 'Burn' (I think) and thought it was pretty horrid. Is the album of the same sort of stuff as that song?

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2009



20830 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm not sure James. My guess is that it was the decision of the radio stations. After that, it's not as if any performers would have had a say in it as arguing against it (or KoLeon playing 'Sex on Fire' at Sound Relief) would have been a PR nightmare. But I will stand corrected if I am wrong. Either way, the timing was terrible for her as the song had just gone Top 5.

RedSky, from memory, Lisa Mitchell didn't finish high up though. Just made the Top 10 or something like that. Again, I will stand corrected if I am wrong though as I definitely do not religiously watch the show.

Philly96, put it this way, if you don't like 'Burn', you won't like the album. The whole album isn't similar to that song, but there are enough songs that are that way inclined.

upagainstthewall
April 24th 2009



838 Comments


http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,25041630-5012974,00.html

Seems like you were correct on the radio position. Also Lisa Mitchell finished in 6th place in 2006, which is fairly good.This Message Edited On 04.24.09

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2009



20830 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Who am I kidding; I'm always right! Hahaha.

"Vega 91.5FM program director Dave Smith said songs by Bruce Springsteen, INXS, Midnight Oil and Talking Heads had been removed from its playlist."

No mention of Kings of Leon funnily enough, but I'm certain 'Sex On Fire' was also removed by at least some radio stations. Of course, it had already been Top 10 for a few months by then.

RandyfromPennywise
April 24th 2009



752 Comments


Great review. I really can't be fuked downloading this - I know I won't listen to it. My mum likes her. Again, nice review.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2009



8223 Comments


very nice review Davey, pleasure to read. This, I'm afraid is not my cup of tea though, I tolerate pop music only when it comes from Tv, since I just can't imagine myself turning in my computer, opening my itunes and start listening to some pop music.

Douchebag
April 24th 2009



3624 Comments


"very nice review Davey, pleasure to read. This, I'm afraid is not my cup of tea though, I tolerate pop music only when it comes from Tv, since I just can't imagine myself turning in my computer, opening my itunes and start listening to some pop music."

I agree with THIS! lol

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2009



20830 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ahh, it's the man with the Bresciano avatar & profile pic. Haven't seen you around these parts for a while Mr. fromPennywise. Thanks for the comments and yeah, you probably won't like this all that much. Then again, it is Mothers Day coming up.

No MetalStyles, I am almost certain this isn't for you mate.

Oh come on Croc, I thought you'd love this! Haha.

This Message Edited On 04.24.09

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2009



8223 Comments


yes you are right Davey, this most undoubtably is not for me haha. The name gives it away I know

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2009



20830 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, especially the number 15 at the end of your user-name. Now if it was a number 2 or 7, then maybe things would have been different.

Just thinking out aloud, is Cyndi Lauper's 'Time After Time' becoming one of the most covered songs of all time?

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2009



8223 Comments


what's with the number 15 btw? just a random number you know

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2009



20830 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nothing, just playin with ya. Of course, if it was metalstyles666, then that would be different.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
April 24th 2009



8223 Comments


haha metalstyles666 that would be original as fuck lol



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