Past vs. Present
Half the album's 12 songs are remakes, including the album's first single, "Together," produced by the Stargate duo. Unlike most of the remakes here, which are older songs, "Together" was previously recorded in just the past couple of years by two singers: Ne-Yo and Lee Carr. So to release it as a single instead of a new song seems odd. Especially since Ruben's version isn't any better than the other two. Other remakes include Ruben's versions of "The Long & Winding Road" (originally by the Beatles); Al Green's "For the Good Times;" and interestingly, a Country version of More Than Words," a song originally by rock band Extreme. To put it bluntly, all the remakes are unnecessary. But the original material is actually quite good. "A Song For Her," which Ruben co-wrote for his wife is a fairly tender, moving song, and "Footprints in the Sand," which was inspired by Barack Obama's presidential campaign, is spiritual and uplifting. The album's highlights are all within the album's six new songs: it's on these tracks that Ruben sounds most alive and energetic and like a true American Idol.