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Paris Bennett, Kimberley Locke Album Reviews

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Two former American Idols release albums this week: Paris Bennett and Kimberley Locke. USA Today's Elysa Gardner and Steve Jones, respectively, take a listen and review them below:

Paris Bennett, Princess P:
The latest American Idol also-ran (last year’s fifth-place finisher) to strike out on her own is an adorable 18-year-old, who recorded this debut on an independent label owned by her uncle (later attracting distribution from a much larger indie, TVT Records). If the results are less polished and predictable than a typical Idol affair, Bennett and her collaborators, who include Beyoncé colleague Jon Jon Traxx (and, briefly, fellow Idol Kevin “Chicken Little” Covais, who “raps” on the brief, appropriately titled Let Me Rap), tend to cling to tried-and-true contemporary pop-R&B formulas.

Still, the album offers enough homespun charm to leave you rooting for the plucky upstart.

Kimberley Locke, Based on a True Story

The former American Idol contender (third place behind Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken in Season 2) takes the pain of a shattered relationship and turns it into an edgy, rock-fueled journey through heartbreak and redemption. Locke, who co-wrote most of the songs on her second album, uses her powerhouse vocals to unleash pent-up emotions about love gone bad and finds strength in learning to trust herself.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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