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Battlefield is Jordin Sparks' second studio album that was released on July 17, 2009 by Jive Records and 19 Recordings.

TracklistingEdit

  1. Walking On Snow 3:28
  2. Battlefield 4:01
  3. Don't Let It Go To Your Head 4:10
  4. S.O.S. (Let The Music Play) 3:32
  5. It Takes More 3:33
  6. Watch You Go 3:51
  7. No Parade 3:31
  8. Let It Rain 3:45
  9. Emergency (911) 3:49
  10. Was I The Only One 3:21
  11. Faith 3:22
  12. The Cure 4:16

Album BackgroundEdit

Jordin Sparks confirmed in several interviews that the album would take the themes from the first single, "Battlefield".

Then it was announced through the official press release that the album would be named "Battlefield" after the first single because it was central to the themes and other recordings for the album.

Speaking of the lead song, Sparks said: "To me, the title 'Battlefield' is about strength and perseverance, things can go from good to bad in an instant, it could be family, friendship or work; and my favorite line in the song is, 'you better go and get your armor,' because it's telling you to be prepared for that time so that you can overcome it."

She spoke to Billboard magazine about how the recording process was much different to that of her previous album. Her debut had been recorded in approximately 20 days due to the huge appetite that fans had for her music.

On the new album Sparks took her time meaning that not only could she write some of the songs but also had time to make the sound more mature or reject records which she felt unhappy with.

Writing for the album began in the middle of 2008. On May 18, 2009, it was revealed so far Sparks had recorded 30 songs for the album but would select songs that fit well with the first single "Battlefield" since that was now also the name for the album.

Later that month, during an interview with Digital Spy, Sparks revealed that she has been involved in writing songs for the album, in total contributing to about 12 of approximately 30 recorded songs.

She also revealed that although the album had at that time produced no duets she was hopeful to collaborate with Leona Lewis for a powerful ballad. When asked who else she would like to collaborate with she said Fergie, Justin Timberlake, and Alicia Keys.

None of these collaborations materialized although Sparks did confirm in an interview that she had made a pact to record a duet with Lewis for her future album as she believes the duo could be the next "Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey".

The reason cited for no duets on this album due to a lack of time and tight deadlines.

As mentioned previously there are no vocal guests on the album although Ryan Tedder can be heard single backing vocals and ad-libs on the album's title song "Battlefield."

Originally, the album was intended to feature one guest in the form of T-Pain who had produced and appeared on the song "Watch You Go" with his signature vocoder (singing autotune), but for unspecified reasons this version of the song was omitted and replaced with a solo version featuring just Spark's vocals.

Furthermore, of the 12 songs she has penned four have made the final version of the album ("Emergency (911)", "Was I the Only One", "Faith" and "The Cure") whilst a further two are being used as promotional songs (bonus tracks "Vertigo" and "Papercut").

All together between 30 and 40 songs had been short-listed for inclusion in the album, from which the final track list was selected and mastered.

Chart PerformanceEdit

"Battlefield" debuted at number 7 on the US Billboard 200, selling 48,000 copies in its first week. It charted three spots higher, but also with lower sales than her debut album.

As of July 2015, the album had sold 190,000 copies in the United States and has sold over 600,000 copies worldwide by September 2010.

Critical ReceptionEdit

Upon its release, "Battlefield" received generally mixed to positive reviews from most music critics, based on an aggregate score of 63/100 from Metacritic.

The Guardian writes: "The 2007 hit 'No Air' gave you the breathy, cleancut gist; this second album employs the same tricks - almost literally, in the case of 'Let It Rain', which has a tremulous build-up and heroic chorus ("Let it rain, wash me clean," she commands). Squelchy electronics and a relatively earthy lyric ("Look in her eyes, she's mentally undressing him") give 'S.O.S.' an urban hue, and the clattering 'Let It Rain' is modern R&B worthy of Rihanna. Regrettably, though, Sparks sounds more comfortable with power ballads such as 'No Parade'; and there's an inner Pat Benatar struggling to get out on the title track. OK if you like this kind of thing."

Slant Magazine writes "Sparks is a pop artist and makes no bones about it here. Much of the album's running time is filled with the kind of soggy adult contemporary pulp that weighed down both the singer's self-titled debut and Leona Lewis's Spirit, and the addition of two paper-themed bonus tracks, "Papercut" and "Postcard," on the deluxe version of Battlefield doesn't help matters. One wonders if it would have been a smarter move in terms of career longevity to try to build on the urban audience she started to cultivate with 'No Air'."

Entertainment Weekly said: "Battlefield certainly delivers on the artistic end: It's packed with more hooks than a fisherman's tackle box, none better than on the gorgeous title track, which sports a soaring chorus. Resistance is futile when Sparks, showing heretofore unseen vocal dexterity, takes to the dance floor to ward off a vixen who's barking up the wrong boyfriend. There is actually enough potential hits to keep the singer in heavy rotation until well into Idol's 10th season."

Digital Spy also gave the album a generally mixed review, writing: "Nothing here is as irresistible as the single, a brilliant update of the '80s arena rock sound that deserves better than its middling chart performance, but several tracks aren't too far off. 'Don't Let It Go To Your Head' [and] 'Let It Rain'... offers lots of soft rock bombast." However, the reviewer also criticized the album for "sentimental mush in its final stretch, with Sparks delivering a series of threadbare clichés over dull, dated arrangements...The result is an album that improves upon Sparks' debut – it doesn't try so hard to cover all of the bases, and Sparks sounds more comfortable on the uptempo cuts – but has the same Achilles heel: a paucity of really memorable songs. Then again, faced with some tough choices and release date approaching, it's hard to blame Sparks – still only 19, lest we forget - for sticking a little too closely to the middle of the road."

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