Melinda Doolittle Looks Back, Steps Up

Our look at the closing lines of the week’s biggest new-music reviews continues with a roundup of reactions to the first post-American Idol album by season six finalist Melinda Doolittle, Coming Back To You:

• “Doolittle channels Tina 
Turner and Aretha Franklin over live-band arrangements that feel fresh-faced and old-school at the same time. In ‘I’ll Never Stop Loving You,’ she even uncovers an improbable reserve of torch-song sex appeal.” [Mikael Wood, EW]

• “She can make even nonbelievers forgive Idol for its many sins against pop music.” [Howard Cohen, Miami Herald]

• “She’s no ingenue; no teenage Idol hopeful craving attention more than musical chops. Melinda Doolittle is a real, soulful woman with plenty to sing. ” [Mario Tarradell, Dallas Morning News]

• “‘Wonder Why’ and ‘We Will Find a Way’ try, but join a pantheon of calculated songs that attempt to serve as standards yet fail to rise to the occasion, foiling Doolittle’s considerable talents once again.” [L. Michael Gipson, Creative Loafing]