So the American Idol juggernaut is preparing to kick into overdrive, fueled by two high-profile releases and the impending Season 8 premiere in January. Here are some details to hold you over…
– Master Archuleta releases his debut album on Tuesday (Monday in the UK), and I have a feeling it’s going to be a big one. I’ve heard several tracks off of the album on AOL, and it’s REALLY good. “Touch My Hand” is a really catchy pop song, “A Little Too Not Over You” could easily be a single, “Don’t Let Go” has a Jon McLaughlin vibe to it, and “Your Eyes Don’t Lie” has a cool “futuristic blues” vibe to it. [BTW…”Not Over You” was co-written by Matthew Gerrard and Robbie Nevil of High School Musical fame, not to mention “C’est La Vie” for you 80s buffs.]
There are throwaway tracks that try to ape current trends like “Barriers” and “My Hands”, and “Desperate” could have been cool, but David gets lost in the production. It’s the simple stuff where he really excels, though. “To Be With You” is just David, a piano, and backing vocals by future Idol judge Kara DioGuardi, and it’s gorgeous in its simplicity. “You Can” is a mid-tempo acoustic ballad that looks to be Archie’s true strength. No song on the record proves this more than “Angels”. I am about to spout pure blasphemy here, but David A’s version of this Robbie Williams classic is AS GOOD as the original, but for different reasons. While Robbie’s version has a beautiful darkness that is lush and deep, David’s soars with a purity that gives the song a completely different spin. Debate it all you want, and maybe time won’t be so kind to this new version, but for the moment, I stand by my proclamation.
– Following a week later is David Cook, who anyone who reads this blog should know about by now. Entertainment Weekly has an interview with David where they talk about the new record, the obsessive fans online (don’t look at me like that), the show, and where he goes from here. My favorite quote from the article:
I still feel like that awkward musician; I think I always will. That’s a huge component of me staying kind of humbled and grounded about the whole thing: I get the flimsiness of it. I get that it could all go away. I mean, fame is fleeting….But I’m at peace. I’ve got guys that I’m playing with that I love to death, and I’m playing music that I think we all really get into, and as long as we’ve got that and a place to play, I’m good.
– The monster known as Idol returns on January 13th with the usual month or so of auditions. If you’re looking for a taste, check ’em out here. They’ve also got a little intro vid on new judge Kara DioGuardi for your perusal here. All I can say is, here go my Tuesday and Wednesday nights for the next six months.