Archive for February 5th, 2007

Getting to know you…

Most interviews with Taylor Hicks are rote and boring by now. Blah blah blah “American Idol is fizzling out,” blah blah blah tour, blah blah blah blah blah. But this new interview from Yahoo! Music shows us a little bit of a different side of Taylor — one that is extremely proud of his music, feels driven to perform, and is extremely self-aware of his current status in the industry.

On how he managed to get creative control on his album:

Ha! I just insisted! Being in the business 10 years and keeping your ears open and hearing tales of other artists having the same situation, I personally wasn’t going to have that. You have to be smart about the whole situation and realize that this is your music, this is your career, and it’s your name, it’s not the label’s. So with that being said, if you understand that, then you know that artists ultimately have the say-so in the end. It was tough, but the album I recorded was a Taylor Hicks record.

Is it a Taylor Hicks record? Sure. Is it as much of a Taylor Hicks record as I’d like it to be? Mmmm…no. And judging from other statements Taylor’s made, I don’t think he had complete creative control.

On his “underdog” status on American Idol, and how his music may or may not fit into today’s “scene”:

Um, yeah, I was surprised somewhat [to win]. But I could feel that for the people that watch the show, I was a breath of fresh air for them. I don’t know if the record-buyers think that, but as far as the show goes, I was a nice breath of fresh air. And hopefully that’s what I’d like to breathe into music right now….I’m just trying to make good music. If it fits in [with popular music], fine; if not, someone will still buy a ticket for it!

I just love his outlook. You know, if it works, it works, if it doesn’t, he’ll still have fans. Ain’t that the truth?

On why LiMBO isn’t “trippin'” over his win:

I was driven. I wasn’t going to let anything stand in my way. Because honestly, I don’t think I could do anything else! This was it. Do you think John Elway could have worked at a bank? That guy needed to be throwing footballs. That’s kind of like me. I need to be performing in front of people.

I’m sure some will see this as arrogance — “who the hell does Taylor think he is to allude that he is to music what Elway is to the NFL?” I’m don’t think that’s what he’s saying at all, though — I think it’s more of a comparison of their innate drives to do what they do.

On whether he’s a “character” onstage:

I wouldn’t say it’s a character, but I’m just an entertainer, whatever that incorporates. It’s really natural. It’s what I’ve been working on all my life and I don’t know any other way. I get onstage and it comes easy. I let it happen.



Taylor Hicks’ single “Just To Feel That Way” impacts today on both AC and Hot AC stations. Currently, without any adds, the song sits at #87 on AC, #134 on Hot AC, and #206 on Pop. It may not be a smash radio hit, but should I ever for some godforsaken reason decide to turn on my radio, it’s nice to know I might catch him.

In other Taylor news: he’ll be too busy rehearsing for his upcoming tour to attend the Grammys, but he will be attending an afterparty or two. Oh, and he’ll be playing the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas this year. The festival has been described as “the industry’s best-kept secret for breaking new acts,” and performers this year, besides Hicks, will include The Stooges, Amy Winehouse, and Booker T. Taylor must be thrilled at the opportunity to jam with all these awesome musicians — as am I for him.

Start spreadin’ the news.

Katharine McPhee nets herself a lovely review from the New York Times this morning. She should be proud of this one.

American Idol” still hasn’t conquered the most mainstream genre of all: the show has yet to produce a true dance-pop star. Now Katharine McPhee is trying to change that…And part of what makes her debut album work is its brashness. “This is sick,” she says, as the beat for a Gwen-Stefani-ish song called “Do What You Do” kicks in. Then she alternates between whispering and letting her big voice loose…A few moments are pretty silly, regardless. As you might have feared, “Open Toes” is indeed about shoes, and never has anyone sung those two words so vehemently. (Or, by song’s end, so incessantly.) But silliness is hardly fatal for an aspiring dance-pop star. And in any case, as “Idol” viewers already know, Ms. McPhee can deliver a show-stopping love song. In “Home,” one of six songs partly written by Kara DioGuardi, a great songwriter for hire, Ms. McPhee nails the inspirational chorus. As the piano builds, she asks, “Does anybody know what it’s like to feel larger than life?” Apparently she does.

The Winnipeg Sun, on the other hand, was not so kind.

On her latest single, Katharine McPhee proclaims herself “so over it.” Funny, we feel the same way about pointless, unoriginal albums like this disappointing debut from American Idol’s fifth-season runnerup. Her tunes come in three cookie-cutter shapes: 1) Sassy, Beyonce-style hip-hop strutters; 2) Paper-thin pop-chart baubles; 3) Wrenching Christinafied ballads. Sadly, the latter dominates. And OK, she can sing them all. But like most Idol performers, she never makes the songs her own. She keeps this up, the fickle Idol hordes will get over her faster than Justin whatshisname.

February 2007
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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. "