Allison Iraheta was my favorite “American Idol” contestant this past season. (Kris Allen fans just had a collective heart attack.) I loved her husky, mature voice and her authentically awkward 17-year-old attitude. The Kool-Aid hair, the squeeing over meeting David Archlueta — despite Simon’s insistence that she had no personality, Allison seemed like the most real teenager “Idol” ever featured.
An extended sneak peek at Iraheta’s rockin’ first single, “Friday I’ll Be Over U,” is now streaming at PopEater, and not surprisingly, the song is geared toward listeners her age. The Max Martin-helmed tune has the feisty teen dissing a dude who didn’t turn out to be who he claimed to be.
The song reminds me of a lot of things — Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend,” Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone,” even a Le Tigre track. What it doesn’t remind me of, however, is the Allison Iraheta I fell in love with on “American Idol.” My favorite “Idol” performances had the rocker wailing complicated melodies and infusing them with a touching vulnerability. (See: “Someone to Watch Over Me” or “Cry Baby.”) “Friday I’ll Be Over U” keeps Allison’s volume at 11, save for a too-brief breakdown around the two-minute mark. In the chorus of the song (which sounds just as ’80s-inspired as anything Blake Lewis ever released), Iraheta tells her boy, “You got me/ To forget me/ So Friday I’ll be over you.” I can’t help but think that Allison could be singing that about Max Martin, who seems to have forgotten that Allison Iraheta can saaaaang.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s smart for 19 Recordings/ Jive Records to market Allison toward the Disney Rocker crowd. And “Friday I’ll Be Over U” certainly won’t sound out of place on the radio. I just wish the single showcased her sick vocal abilities more and relied a little less on studio trickery. (Allison Iraheta + an Auto-Tune effect + lasers = not necessary. Ever.) It’s not difficult to imagine a less-able singer — like Ashlee Simpson or Kim Zolciak from “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” — sounding just as good on the heavily processed track, and to me that’s a cryin’ shame.
All in all, I’m very happy for Allison. The fourth-place finisher scored a radio-friendly song that is sure to climb up the charts. (Between “Friday I’ll Be Over U” and Kris Allen’s “Live Like We’re Dying,” 19/Jive are doing a helluva job picking solid songs for their “Idol” artists this year.) And while I’m selfishly wishing Allison got the chance to out-sing Mariah in her debut single (’cause she totally could, by the way), I’m giddy knowing that I have ballads to look forward to when her debut album hits stores December 1.