You just keep me hangin’ on.

Honey, take the wheel“So, does the Hicks’ self-titled debut match the hype and hope surrounding it? Yep, for the most part. But the thing is that when it’s good, it’s good … and when it’s bland, oh boy is it bland. It’s safe to say Hicks ends up batting a solid 8 for 12 as far as the track numbering goes, with the bouncy horns and backing choir vocals of “Heaven Knows” being what most fans are expecting.

“Give Me Tonight” and its funkified pulse add some nice flavor to the mix, minus the fact that Hicks gets a little upstaged by his female counterpart. Despite that, it’s one of the stronger songs and again shows that old school Michael McDonald influence. On the other side of the spectrum, the Ray Charles-like vibe of “The Right Place,” the album’s closer, showcases those soul-powered pipes that made Hicks the Idol winner.

But what about the blandness? “Soul Thing,” I guess Hicks’ attempt to give his Patrol an anthem to rally around, sounds about as moving as a 7th grade love poem. “Gonna Move” takes it up a notch but again falls flat, coming off as contrived and uninteresting. “The Maze,” about the usual wandering-around-like-a-lost-puppy-without-you type theme, gets lumped into that same bland category. “Places I’ve Been,” however, immediately comes to the rescue as Hicks’ voice sounds full of conviction, something missing from “Maze” and some of the other material.

What I’m trying to say, more or less, is the same thing I said about the few other Idol albums I’ve heard—the first ones are a test for the artist and are strictly for the label.

…Taylor Hicks’ debut stands above the rest as far as Idol first timers go, but still suffers from some filler issues that keep it from really blowing the other contestants out of the water. I even give him extra points for managing to get Justin Timberlake’s panties in a bunch just by being good.

Equally good is that Hicks still knows his audience, and as long as he sticks with what brought him to the dance in the first place, we’ll probably be watching him get inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame after a long and fruitful career.” —CinemaBlend

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What the kids are sayin’



"I hate them all. The judges, TPTB, the blatant manipulation, the songs, the contestants, everything. I'm a die-hard Cook fan, but for the love of god, at least try to look like you're enjoying yourself up there! Please? Syesha was awesome but she ruined it by being completely shameless and disgusting. Yes, being on American Idol is exactly like the civil rights movement, except for the part where you're fighting to make the world a better place."



"All I can say after the disgusting display tonight of favoritism towards the mediocrity that is David A. - good luck trying to market and make money off of that kid, American Idol. (Not to mention good luck dealing with his father.) All the teeny boppers may buy up his American Idol coronation single, but they will quickly forget about him before the album comes out. And I shudder to think of a David A. album - song after song of unrelenting sameness and heavy breathing. Why they are pimping him for the win is beyond me."



"This show was simply a hot buttered mess tonight. And Jason "needs to be arrested for what he did to I Shot the Sheriff. But I hope he stays. He amuses me. "

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