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Jermaine Paul performed on this week's big "Voice" results show, reminding viewers that he exists and reminding this current season's top 12 that nothing is guaranteed after "The Voice," not even for the show's winners. Jermaine has kept an incredibly low profile since he won Season 2 this past May (compare his career progress so far to that of Phillip Phillips, who won "American Idol" that same month and has since sold 2 million downloads), and he has barely even been mentioned or acknowledged during "The Voice" Season 3. But finally, he has released an original single and video, "I Believe In This Life."
I'm not sure what to make of this direction for Jermaine, really. Although the type of music I would have expected him to release--slow jam R&B a la Brian McKnight or Eric Benet, heavy on the ballads--isn't exactly what's burning up the charts nowadays, this dancey, clubby, Usher-y style just doesn't seem to suit him. It rings false. It feels inauthentic. I don't really believe in "I Believe In This Life."
More troublingly, there is a helluva lot of Auto-Tune on this track...ironic for a guy who won a show called "THE VOICE." The one thing Jermaine always had going for him were his powerhouse vocals--before he competed on "The Voice," he sang backup for Alicia Keys, just like this season's frontrunner Amanda Brown--so I don't see why his voice needed to be digitally tweaked this much. He sounds almost unrecognizable here. I had the same issues with "X Factor" winner Melanie Amaro's first single, "Don't Fail Me Now," which was also very aggressively Auto-Tuned. I don't care if robot vocals are in vogue right now--if someone won a show because they can genuinely sang, there's no need to fix what ain't broke.
What do you think of Jermaine's new single? Think it could be a hit? Let me know.