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Music Review: Adam Lambert “Season 8 Favorite Performances” via iTunes

Continuing my American Idol Season 8 wrap-up nonsense, I decided I would also review Adam Lambert’s “Favorite Performances Collection”.  This song set is extremely popular on iTunes; it’s still #5 on top albums over one week from being released.  Here’s the review:

(The songs are in the order they appear on the track listing, and will be rating on a scale of 0 to 10 elephants)

  1. Black or White“- 8 Elephants- The live version of this “Black or White” was energetic and exciting, and I don’t think that translated very well to the studio version.  It seems much more relaxed.  Analogy: The live version is to bold, black coffee as the studio version is to a mocha frappe latte.
  2. Born to be Wild“- 8.5 Elephants- Once again, like “Black or White”, I don’t think these high-energy songs from Adam translate very well into studio recordings.  But of course it’s much harder to deliver the energy and excitement on a recording, especially an American Idol recording.  I can’t get it out of my head that this sounds like a “Born to be Wild” dance remix.
  3. Cryin“- 9 Elephants- This was one of my favorite songs from Adam throughout Season 8 because the screech/wail that he does worked so well.  It wasn’t overdone or obnoxious, it just worked.  The studio recording is similar in that it’s a great vocal and it all just works.
  4. Feeling Good“- 9.5 Elephants- I think this is one of the few songs that I enjoyed the studio recording and not really the live performance.  The studio recording is great!  Definitely one of my favorite studios from Adam.  He breathed new life to this old classic and it really worked.
  5. If I Can’t Have You“- 8.5 Elephants- The vocals in this song are great, but when I listen to it the music gives me the feeling that this an 80s pop song.  I don’t know what the people that add the backing track in are thinking sometimes.  Other than that, it’s good!
  6. Mad World“- 9.5 Elephants- I’ve got three words for you: haunting.  Take it in folks, I will never use the word “haunting” to describe a song again because it makes me feel like Kara.  Seriously though, this song is great and Adam does a great job with it every time.  It may be teetering on the edge of “performance overkill” since it’s been on every morning talk show in the U.S., but it’s still great and the definitive Adam song.
  7. One“- 9 Elephants- I expressed my complete disdain for Adam screwing up one of my favorite songs, but he fixed it all with the recording.  The little changes he made in the melody are gone and it’s back to it’s original form.  I know that I’m the number 1 proponent for changing songs up, but that’s only if it works.  If you go for it and it fails, tough stuff for you.  But like I said, he fixed it for the studio and it sounds great.
  8. Play That Funky Music“- 7 Elephants- I hate this song, and I like it no more when Adam does it.  The vocals are good, but the song is complete garbage.  That’s all I’ve gotta say about this one.
  9. Ring of Fire“-  0 Elephants- Just as frightening as the first time, I can’t even finish it.  I’m not trying to pull a Clay Aiken and say that I’m going to have nightmares and it was horrible in the vocals because that’s just not true.  The vocals are fine, the whole arrangement is just scary.  I don’t like this song really in any form though.  Oh and I don’t really give it 0, more like 7.
  10. The Tracks of My Tears“- 8.5 Elephants- I definitely liked the live version better without all the background nonsense going on, but it’s still a good song even in studio.  I wish American Idol would just leave the performances acoustic or whatever in studio because that’s the reason why American loves those performances!  Ahh, it’s so aggravating.
  11. Whole Lotta Love“- 9 Elephants- Once again like “Cryin” the screech works here.  If Adam is going to want to do the screech, then songs like these are definitely going to suit him well.  And to give the screech credit, it’s one heck of an on-pitch screech.
  12. A Change is Gonna Come“- 9 Elephants- It’s probably the most soulful track on the favorites compilation, and it definitely sounds good.  Not too much was added to the studio version (thankfully) so it keeps a lot of what was in the live version.

The Verdict

After much debate, I’ve decided that the following songs wil make the TCJ Playlist:

  • “Cryin”
  • “Feeling Good”
  • “Mad World”
  • “One”
  • “The Tracks of My Tears”
  • “Whole Lotta Love”
  • “A Change is Gonna Come”

What do you think of Adam’s “Season 8 Favorite Peformances” from iTunes?  If you disagree with my review, let us know!n  Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to bookmark The Conservative Journal and sign up for the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

Thanks for participating!

Rick

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Filed under Adam Lambert, Entertainment, Music, Singers, TCJ Playlist

American Idol Top 4 Analysis: Put the “GO” in Gokey

Hopefully, Gokey packs his bags tonight.

Hopefully, Gokey packs his bags tonight.

Overall, last night was a great night for American Idol. Like last week, they weakest link was quite clear after all of the performances: Danny Gokey. He proved tonight that he is not at all a versitile artist (I cringe at that word thanks to Kara “artistry” DioGuardi, but it was necessary.).  And though his voice is probably stronger than Kris’s voice, Kris brings originality and relevancy that Danny does not and cannot bring.  As I’ve said before, when it all comes down to it, Kris is the most relevant vocalist in the competition.  The other 3 are more powerful than he is vocally, but Kris’s kind of music is very popular right now.  As for who’s going home,  it’s truly a toss-up.  The only certainty, though, is that Adam isn’t going anywhere this week.  His fans surely voted in huge numbers this week after last week’s bottom two scare, plus he earned a spot in the Top 3 with his great performances last night.  Danny definitely deserves to go, but he has a very large fan base for some reason, and the judges avoided any real harsh criticism last night, though deserved it, and instead chose to give him an “A for effort”.  If it comes down to Allison and Kris, then I believe Kris will be hitting the road.  Allison may have received mediocre reviews for her solo performance, but she got to close out the show with Adam and the duet was extremely well received by the judges, and surely America, while Kris received mediocre reviews for everything he did.  However, this surely resulted in his solid fans voting even harder for him.  If I had to make a prediction on who would go, I’d say Danny, though I have horrible feeling about Kris’s fate.

Hopefully, America made the right choice and we can finally put the “GO” in Gokey!

Who do you think will go home tonight?  Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to subscribe to the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

Thanks for reading!

Rick

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Poll of the (Yester)Day: Who Was Your Favorite on American Idol?

I know it’s a day late, but here is yesterday’s poll of the day:

To read the full recap of the episode, click here.

Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to subscribe to the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.

Thanks for participating!

Rick

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American Idol Top 4 Recap

Sorry I couldn’t live blog last night as I usually do, I was extremely busy and didn’t get to watch until late last night. Anyway, without further ado, here is my (abbreviated) recap of last night’s episode of American Idol.

The highlight of the latter half of Season 8.

The highlight of the latter half of Season 8.

First up is..

Adam Lambert singing “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin.  This week is his week.  Even though I’m not a fan, there’s no denying he’s got the ability to really knock it out of the park.  Wow, this is quite a production!  Some seriously killer high notes throughout that whole thing.  Overall, it was probably my favorite Adam performance because it actually called for those (in)famous high notes.  Songs like “Ring of Fire” are not complimented by incessant wailing, this, however, worked.  The judges drool over and Simon says that no one can top it now.  Next up is..

Allison Iraheta singing “Cry Baby” by Janis Joplin.  Wow, Allison’s rocking a new hair do this week.  This fits her (and the theme) really well.  And the singing is outstanding on top of that!  Man she is truly an incredible singer.  This week, she not only showed off her always amazing vocals, but she had a confidence on the stage that she hasn’t really had so far this season.  Very, very impressive performance.  Of course, the judges have to be complicated and make comments about her song choice, arrangement, blah, blah, blah.  WHAT ABOUT THE SINGING?!  Why must they feel the need to hurl Allison under the bus?  Why not Gokey?  Oh, I’ll get to that in a mintue.  Allison finally speaks up in the end and there’s a really awkward little conversation between Allison and Simon.  Next up is..

THE SUPER EXTRA SPECIAL DUETS!  Seriously though, I really like this duet idea.  Allison and Adam couldn’t be better suited for a duet.  But I guess in order to hear that one, we have to go through Danny Gokey, who’s so smug 24 hours a day he makes David Cook look humble, and Kris Allen, whom I have no fault with at this point.  I actually like him second only to Allison.  Anyway, they’re singing “Renegade” by Styx.  Parts of this little number were really good, but many parts were horrendous, like when they engaged in a yelling match towards the end.  Now, seeing as I can’t stand Danny, he initiated and was the sole contender in the screech fest.  He was clearly trying to dominate the duet and Kris couldn’t keep up, but that’s not a bad thing.  Danny was not singing, he was yelling with all the strength him.  I was waiting on him to spontaneously combust (see, Fringe).  In the end though, the judges sided with Gokey (WHAT!?!?), which could spell trouble for Kris.  Next up is..

Kris Allen singing “Come Together” by The Beattles.  Kris did a great job picking his song this week; this one really suits him.  However, no one will match Carly Smithson’s showstopper of a rendition during the Top 12 last year.  Generally speaking, this performances was really good, and one of my favorite Kris performances.  There were a few janky notes in the middle-end, but it was overall a good job.  Kris, in my opinion, is the most relevant contestant left, if not from the whole season.  I could very easily see him having a hit on the radio.  The judges were not complimentary, however.  Why do they have such an agenda?  Is it that hard to trully give a critique?  I realize the producers are tyring to push for an Adam/Danny finale, but don’t they understand that regardless of whether they win, both Danny and Adam are under contract and 19 has first dibs?  Gosh.  Next up is..

Danny Gokey the Horrible” singing “Dream On” by Aerosmith.  Danny, you do not sing songs like this.  You do not have the range, control, or generally ability to pull of the original version of any Aerosmith song.  The beginning wasn’t horrible, but the end was absolutely atrocious.  I know I lose most of my credibility since I can’t stand Gokey to begin with, but this truly was a disaster of epic proportions.  The last few lines and the final screech/yell/wail/horrible noise were, quite possibly, the worst few seconds of any Idol performance in it’s 8 years on tv.  Those last few cringe-worthy notes will always haunt me, and the other 20-something million views forever.  WHAT THE HECK!?  After that horrid display of ignorance and arrogance, the judges refused to tell him it was terrible, but instead gave him an “A for effort”?  Only Simon spoke about the horrible last notes, but I don’t like him anymore so he still doesn’t get credit.  Next up is..

The most incredible moment of the night, Allison and Adam’s duet of “Slow Ride” by Foghat.  As I said above, Adam gets a pass for any and all screeching this week because that’s what he’s supposed to do.  I heard about the duets a few days ago, and the idea of this duet has had me excited all week.  There is no way this duet can be anything less than awesome.  And it was incredible!  They compliment eachother so well on the Idol stage it’s ridiculous.  They should make an album of duets; that’s the only chance I have of ever buying a cd with Adam Lambert’s name written across the bottom.  That was all that I’d been waiting for and more.  I feel kind of (really) stupid getting all worked about it, but that really was awesome.  Everyone deserves one of those moments every Idol season, and this is mine.  The judges loved it, and Simon said that the duet could be responsible for saving Allison’s future on American Idol, and I think he may be right.

That wraps up tonight’s awesome show (Did I really just say that?), I’m a little nervous for the results tonight, but hopefully we put the “Go” in Gokey and have an awesome Top 3.

What do you think of last night’s episode?  Leave your comments below or send an e-mail to theconservativejournal@gmail.com.  Don’t forget to subscribe to the RSS Feed and the daily e-mail newsletter.
Thanks for reading!

Rick

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Filed under American Idol, Entertainment, Television