Archive for January 2nd, 2007

More Taylor goodies.

I have to say, I’m getting a bit weary of posting Taylor Hicks reviews. It will be nice to have a new album to sample come January 30th…

From The National Ledger:

The quality of this CD is superb, which enhances the overall richness of Hicks’s voice that has an unforced, naturally enjoyable timbre that comes from years of performing on the Birmingham club circuit. There are also many quirks, licks and signatures from musical legends Hicks has picked up over the years but unfortunately, adopting traits from performers who have done it right in the past can be frowned upon in the music industry.

From Monsters and Critics:

The gray wizard Taylor Hicks is unlike anything ‘American Idol’ has produced to date – in that he`s 30, authentically soulful and seems to know who Sam Cooke is – but fans will be hard pressed to find much here that reminds them of the guy they called in for…It`s hard not to feel bad for the talented Hicks, since the two best tracks here are “Soul Thing” and “The Deal,” which he wrote in his pre-“Idol” life. 63 million votes were cast for Old Taylor; the machine would be best served to let him run the show now.

And from HARP Magazine–not a review of the album, and not even a review, really, but more of a tacit acceptance of Taylor’s status as an actual workin’ musician, not just some pre-packaged, manufactured reality TV show winner:

On [“Fortunate Son”], both [Warren] Haynes and Branford Marsalis join in; when “American Idol” winner Taylor Hicks also comes out wielding a harmonica, a lot of eyes in the audience pop in disbelief, and at least one voice within earshot of HARP is heard shouting, “Fuck American Idol!”. But in truth, Hicks holds his own, bouncing up and down the stage like a kid at a birthday party and taking a pretty sleek solo, too, when his moment at the mic rolls around. Come to think of it, the entire assembled group of musicians is bouncing up and down as “Fortunate Son” winds its lengthy way to the conclusion, and after it ends Haynes, grinning from ear to ear, steps to the microphone to observe, “I gotta say something: THAT is the reason we gotta rebuild New Orleans!” Cue up an arena-piercing roar of approval from the crowd.

I think Taylor’s in. :-)


Kick it off with a bang.

ETA: Poor marketing decisions prevail again, as Never Saw it Comin’ does appear to be Katharine’s album title. Sheesh.

It’s a Happy Idol New Year! 2007 was off to a bang when Katharine McPhee sang a snippet of her new song, Better Off Alone, at the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California yesterday. I wasn’t too impressed with the song (boring, bland, in other words, typical post-Idol tripe), but again, since I probably won’t be buying the album anyway, my opinion really doesn’t matter now, does it? ;-) Kat’s performance gave her self-titled album a boost on Amazon, propelling her to #130 on the Top Sellers list just hours after the parade ended (she’s at #135 right now). Catch a video of Kat performing under a giant frog at the bottom of this post. And check her facial expressions as she sings–clearly, something is bugging her. It could be the sound system (which from all reports was crappy), or she could just be wondering why she’s singing to a giant frog. Ahh, the glamorous life of an Idol runner-up…

Anyway, McPhee wasn’t the only Idol crooning atop a float. Tenth-place finisher Lisa Tucker, from Anaheim, California, was also present and sang a song.

And there is yet even more McPhee news to behold. AOL Music has posted some of her songs (the same ones available on MySpace) for streaming, and Katharine offers up her take on “Each Other,” “Over It,” “Open Toes” and “Love Story.” Katharine also comments on her racy album cover, offering a very interesting perspective:

“I actually didn’t pick the album cover. What I wanted was a bit more conservative. You pick your battles. Many people think it’s suggestive, but really when you look at it, there’s almost no skin, no crotch shot. I am completely covered, which makes it that much sexier.”

As much as I’m shaking my head at Katharine’s incredibly naive belief that one needs to be flashing loads of skin and baring her crotch to sell sex (I think the hooker boots, spread legs, parted lips and hooded eyes are selling the sex very effectively, Katharine), the more interesting part of the quote is where she reveals that she has to “pick her battles.” Wait just a minute! What happened to the savvy businesswoman? Where’s the brassy, ballsy girl who told RCA execs to go shove “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” up their asses? Where’s the young woman who wanted to be in control of her career as much as possible, so she’d actually have a career further down the line? Heh.

Anyway, McPhee isn’t the only Idol making the rounds these days. Winner Taylor Hicks will be performing “The Runaround” and will also be singing “Heard It Through the Grapevine” with Motown’s Gladys Knight on tonight’s FedEx Orange Bowl, to be broadcast on FOX. While this appearance is sure to net him some publicity and possibly spike his album sales, the real Hicks news centers around if, when and what he’ll release for his first single, which J Records has said is slated to drop soon. “Just To Feel That Way” is leading the “what should the first single be” poll over at Gray Charles, and I agree, though I do question the wisdom of relying on the opinion of a bunch of people who freely admit that they stopped listening to pop radio years ago. On a selfish level, I’d love to see “Heaven Knows” as the single, because it’s different, and the media could play up the Ray Charles angle, what with Ray experiencing a bit of a coolness revival these days (and really, DJs can’t dig on Hicks for sampling Ray, because, uh, Kanye West did it last year, too). some As of right now, there’s no word on what the single will be and when it will drop. But Taylor’s tour is due to start in February, and he’ll no doubt get some kind of a sales boost then. And even so, hey, the guy went gold in two weeks. Certainly nothing to sneeze at.

As promised, see McPhee croon her way down the streets of Pasadena here:

January 2007
« Dec   Feb »

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. "