Jordin Sparks’ first album released today

American Idol 6 winner Jordin Sparks’ self-titled debut album is in stores today. It includes the terribly awful ballad “This Is My Now” that won the show’s first songwriting contest, and 12 other songs.

One of those, “Freeze,” was co-written by Jordin; another track, “Worth the Wait,” is about virginity and was also co-written by Jordin, but it only appears on special Wal-Mart versions of the record. Jordin told OK! Magazine that song came about because “I haven’t been in a relationship but I did take a stand to remain pure until I was married. They were like, ‘What do you want to write about?’ and I was like, ‘Can we write about that, but not so in-your-face?’” And “Freeze,” she says, “is about freezing the moment and memorizing every detail and trying to remember everything about that time, which really applies to what I’m going through because everything has gone by so fast and I can’t remember some of the stuff that I’ve done.”

The cover of the album features a less-than-flattering photograph of Jordin, prompting Idolator to ask “why would any executive out there want to try and sell a record to people by using a photo that looks as if it was swiped from a paparazzo who lucked out and caught an Idol winner sneezing while standing in front of a scrachiti’d-up window on the 6 train?”

What’s inside has impressed some, but not all, critics. The Detroit News’ Adam Graham says it’s “a breezy affair made up of light pop and R&B. And, surprisingly, it’s pretty good.” Entertainment Weekly’s Chris Willman gives the album a B+, and says you can “expect R&B-flavored froth-pop embellished with just enough vocal flourishes,” and says the show “has crowned winners with even bigger voices, but it hasn’t given us one who’s any easier on the ears.” But The Chicago Sun Times Misha Davenport says it’s “Slick, overproduced and, with the exception of the bonus track ‘This Is My Now,’ lacking any of the 17-year-old’s personality as shown on the hit show.”

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