Haley Reinhart – Listen Up!

“American Idol” closed out its 11th season yesterday with yet another pretty white guy with guitar winning the contest. How unpredictable was that? Good thing is I didn’t follow this season like I did with the last. Haley Reinhart who came in third in season 10 was a winner in my book. She has a sultry timbre when she goes low and a big-ass pipe when she goes high. Her sexy appearance is a bonus to the eyes as well.

Reinhart showcased a variety of styles on “Idol,” noticeably jazz and blues, but her debut Listen Up! offers classic pop-soul flavors, which sandwiched her between Amy Winehouse and Adele. “Wasted Tears” has Winehouse’s contemporary pop combined with Motown spirit, but Reinhart puts her own spin to it. “Undone” is a big ballad with keyboard and strings that immediately draws some resemblances to Adele’s “Someone Like You.”

Listen Up! features easy, groovy hits including “Now That You’re Here,” “Hit the Ground Runnin'” and “Keep Coming Back” to satisfy the mainstream as well as 19 Entertainment/Interscope Records. For Reinhart, let’s hope that Listen Up! is just a commercial obligation.