Odds and ends.

The New York Daily News reports that Idol producers are planning a “midseason bang” that will “blow America away.” I’d take that with a grain of salt; after all, this is coming from the show where every departure is “the most shocking results show evah,” even when it’s, well, not. Still, my interest is piqued. I just hope that the show doesn’t start delving into behind-the-scenes (and not at all scripted!) “tension” in the Idols’ apartment complex. Show, you don’t need to go there.

Katharine McPhee’s two new singles, “I Lost You” and “Dangerous,” drop today exclusively at a Wal-Mart near you. Strangely, the singles have received almost no promotion, except for some internet buzz that spread like wildfire when a Wal-Mart mistakenly put out the single early last week. The fans so far seem pretty happy with the singles, which is good for them, but a MySpace bulletin from Katharine seems to downplay any idea that either of these two songs will even make it onto the album, let alone be the first radio/video-released single.

It’s strange not to have any promotion for it, though. Clive Davis has said previously that he doesn’t think any of the Idols need pre-release singles, but here Kat’s got two. Maybe they think that shoppers will come in looking for DAUGHTRY or Taylor Hicks for the holidays, see the $2.98 Kat single, and pick that up, too? That’s probably not a bad idea–a quick search for either of those two albums on Amazon reveals that customers who bought them largely also pre-ordered McPhee’s debut. The Idol fan wars are largely an Internet phenomenon; many casual watchers of the show are fans of several lof the competitors.

Another explanation could be the fact that it doesn’t seem to me like Kat’s people did a good job of announcing her delayed release date. Yes, her official websites all say January 30, and she told Access Hollywood January 30, but several outlets (including my local newspaper) were trumpeting her release today. Could the single be out as a placeholder for those who go shopping today expecting to find a full album? And if that’s the motivation, why only release to Wal-Mart? But then again, I never so much as took a marketing class in college, so what do I know?

On the other end of the spectrum, MJ reports that Elliott Yamin may be making an announcement later this week…relating to a possible recording deal. Yay for Elliott! It’s about time. More to come if and when this is made official.

And finally, a few new reviews of Taylor Hicks’ debut were posted today. I was expecting sales numbers, too, but unfortunately, HDD is on vacation, so we’ll just have to wait for SoundScan tomorrow…

“It’s probably damning Hicks with faint praise to say that the American Idol champ’s debut is more winning than anyone had a right to expect. The mostly generic tunes provided by a predictable posse of studio vets include a few surprisingly savvy showcases for Hicks’ gray-haired soul shtick. Alas, a pair of hokey originals should dispel any notions of the crooner as a budding troubadour.” (two and a half out of four stars) —USA Today (This is one of the few reviews I’ve seen where Taylor’s originals weren’t pointed out as some of the best stuff on the album.)

Ken Barnes of USA Today’s Idol Chatter also chimed in with a track-by-track review. Interestingly (or unfortunately) enough, he believes the stronger tracks on the album to be “Dream Myself Awake” (dies laughing) and “Give Me Tonight” (just dies). Barnes was unimpressed with the “whompier” tunes (“Heaven Knows” and “The Runaround”). As for Taylor’s originals, he hated “Soul Thing” but really liked “The Deal,” and gave the album three out of four stars overall.

“Brother Ray gets a further nod via “The Right Place,” a gospel-flavored slow burner originally penned for the late legend by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance; Hicks infuses the song with a raspy, unforced growl. Alongside numbers contributed by the likes of professional songwriters Dianne Warren and Rob Thomas, the prematurely gray vocalist holds his own with two self-penned cuts originally recorded for his second independent release, Under the Radar. His fans call themselves the Soul Patrol, and Hicks’s R&B- and rock-infused album reveals him to be the most multi-talented American Idol winner to date.” —Barnes and Noble (I love when the growl gets love.)

“Hicks wrote two of the 12 numbers here, and though they fit in inconspicuously, they don’t arrive till the end — right before the Bryan Adams cover. Producer Matt Serletic changes the dynamics enough — from warm ballads to horn-fortified soul-rockers — to keep the vibe from staying too constant and static. Serletic has experience working with another pop singer who has tried (too hard) to express his urban groove and Southern-fried soul: Rob Thomas (who also wrote a song here). Hicks, though, wisely remains in his own skin, keeping it real — which means good enough to entertain anyone not expecting the second coming of Otis Redding.” —The Kansas City Star (and for the last time, it’s not a Bryan Adams COVER!)


2 Responses to “Odds and ends.”

  1. 1 PennyW December 19, 2006 at 4:53 pm

    I’m thinking they will use a Daughtry song for the kiss off night..what do you think? (that’s the rumor I’ve been hearing.

  2. 2 idolicious December 19, 2006 at 5:39 pm

    I’ve been hearing some rumors that Daughtry’s “Home” will be the don’t-let-the-door-hit-your-ass-on-the-way-out song, but so far I haven’t heard any confirmation. I don’t think that’s the surprise, though.

Comments are currently closed.

December 2006
« Nov   Jan »

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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