Candice Glover’s “I Am Beautiful” Single Review
In order to appreciate beauty you first need to experience the ugly. Glover has seen her share of the nastiest form of ugly: in school, she was often the victim of peer persiflage as she wrestled for years with her issue of her weight. When Glover auditioned for the 9th season of American Idol, she was derided as nothing more than a lounge singer. A year later, in the 10th season of the same popular televised singing show, Glover was eliminated from the contestant list because she forgot the words to her song. Yet, another year later, on the same Idol program, she was curtailed before she was given the opportunity to shine. Absolutely devastated, Glover's mother begged her never to step onto the Idol platform again. But despite all the ugliness Glover has had witnessed, she knew God would one day allow her to see beauty. During that magical moment when she was announced before millions that she was this year's American Idol, it was more than just a moment of jubilation. It was a moment of revelation. This is why, in the light of Glover's social raillery, her coronation song "I Am Beautiful" is most appropriate.
Glover is only the fourth African American (joining the ranks of Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino and Jordin Sparks) and the first female winner since Jordin Sparks. Throughout her tenure across this year's American Idol, Glover shows she is one of the most versatile artists ever. She's equally at home on Aretha Franklin's R&B vintage "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" as well as when she struts along Paula Abdul's bubblegum "Straight Up." And whether it is a paean from the vaults of the Cure or Whitney Houston or Ben E. King, she shows that she is the consummate singer undaunted by any sonic bulwark. But for her debut post-Idol she has decided to stroll along the path paved by her preceding champs such as Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson and Fantasia Barrino in giving another stab at the balladry pop- format with the accompanying polished R&B adornment. Despite the predictability of the song's sonic demeanor, it's still a gorgeously crafted tune that starts off soft before building up to a cathartic crescendo giving opportunity for Glover to soar reminding us again why she has had all the votes.
Nevertheless, the apogee of the song is in the words. Granted that there are many songs that try to re-varnish one's self esteem, not every one of them is redeeming. What sets "I Am Beautiful" apart is this: our self-worth is not embellished with more prep talk we give to ourselves. We can never built lasting self-identity on what we wear or the degrees we earn. Self is given its ultimate dignity when we believe what God thinks of us. This is so magnificently captured when Glover sings, "And he (God) says I am beautiful/And when I fall/It don't matter that I'm not perfect/I am beautiful/I'm not alone/And in his eyes I'm so worth it/I'm worth every tear/And every scar And even when you say I'm not/He says I'm beautiful." This, my friends, is beauty that transforms.