candiceglover-_web.jpgCandice Glover originally planned to release her debut two months after she won American Idol last May. She postponed it – twice.

Time is definitely on her side though: Music Speaks is one of the better Idol debuts.

Glover, to no one’s surprise, is a vocal powerhouse on the 12-track set, which is full of pop ballads and R&B numbers that fit together nicely. Most post-Idol albums, and those from other TV talent contestants, lack personality and a sense of cohesiveness.

But Glover paints an intriguing portrait of a woman lost in love, and all the emotional highs and lows that come with that condition.

She kicks off the album with the top-notch Cried, co-written by one of her contemporary influences, Jazmine Sullivan. Die Without You echoes Brandy – but with stronger vocals – while Same Kind of Man and the powerful Forever That Man mirror Fantasia.

The 24-year-old hasn’t found her voice entirely, and all of the songs aren’t complete winners, but Glover demonstrates promise as she shows she’s more than a balladeer: She coos beautifully on Kiss Me, which sounds like a future radio hit; she shines on the beat-driven, Southern hip-hop-flavored Coulda Been Me, co-written by Ester Dean; and In the Middle surprisingly interpolates Shabba Ranks’ Ting-A-Ling in a good way.

On the piano-tune Damn, she nails the song when she sings of falling in love with another woman’s lover in a calm tone.

Glover stole the show on Idol when she adapted her voice to a wide-range of songs, from Paula Abdul’s Straight Up to the Cure’s Lovesong, which she includes on the new album. Her debut is similar – it proves just how much potential she has.