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Music Review: Kris Allen “Season 8 Favorite Performances” via iTunes

For the third year in a row, iTunes is offering an end of the season collection of each contestant’s best performances of the year.  This year, I’m pretty sure the collection includes every performance of the year.  To continue the theme of celebrating Kris Allen’s victory, here is a review of his “Season 8 Favorite Performances Collection” via iTunes:

(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. Ain’t No Sunshine“- 9 Elephants- Probably my 3rd favorite song by Kris of the season.  This one really pushes Kris’, and he think he pulls out if very well.  “Ain’t No Sunshine” is some of the best evidence that Kris can make anything current.
  2. All She Wants To Do Is Dance“- 8.5 Elephants- Though this performance received some of his less enthusiastic critiques, the studio recording is fun and, as usual, has a current sounding vocal.  The backing music is the main detractor from this song, but overall it’s a good one.
  3. Apologize“- 8 Elephants- The vocals are great, but it sounds almost identical to the original.  This is one of the less inventive Kris Allen tunes.  A must have for fans, but those with the original can probably save the 99 cents.
  4. Come Together“- 9 Elephants- Well first of all, I love this song.  And though Kris’ rendition doesn’t quite live up to Carly Smithson’s from last year, it’s entertaining.  Kris takes a more fun, upbeat route with “Come Together”, and I think it worked better on the recording than on the show.  But I enjoyed both.
  5. Falling Slowly“- 9.5 Elephants- Ahh, “Falling Slowly”.  The live performance, it’s worth noting, was brilliant.  It was performed the night that only two judges gave critiques and Randy, in his ignorance, gave it a very poor review.  Simon fixed by calling it “brilliant” the next night, and thankfully it was too late as Kris was sent to safety.  My favorite vocal from Kris, but second favorite only to..
  6. Heartless“- 9 Elephants- So convenient how I could transition seemlessly like that.  Anyway, many of you that followed my season of American Idol commentary know that this is the only song I gave an “A+” rating on my recap.  Well, the recording only gets a 9 because the acoustic element is not there.  In American Idol fashion, they have to throw in the full orchestra even for great acoustic performances.  Still a great song to have.
  7. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)“- 7.5 Elephants- This is one of the few songs that I just cannot remember the live performance for.  I’m debating over whether I was gone for that episode or something.  Anyway, this is one of the least memorable of the “Kris Allen Collection”, and the back-up singing is a annoying and too loud.
  8. Remember the Time“- 7.5 Elephants- “Remember the Time” is very much like the above song, though I do remember this one vaguely.  It’s a more upbeat and fun song, though I don’t think I’ll find myself putting it in the “Top 25” rotation on my iPod.
  9. She Works Hard For the Money“- 8.5 Elephants- This when I really started to consider Kris as a potential contender.  He took this Donna Summer song and completely changed it up in a way that made it current and entertaining.  The live version was definitely better, but I think he more than likely didn’t choose the extra orchestra accompaniment.
  10. The Way You Look Tonight“- 7.5 Elephants- The recording of “The Way You Look Tonight” is one of Kris’ more traditional songs.  It doesn’t stray far from the original, and is a more subdued performance by Kris.
  11. To Make You Feel My Love“- 9 Elephants- I sure am glad that I decided to review this because I had forgotten all about this performance.  This performances came around when no one really knew anything about Kris and mostly just considered him the purest form of canon fodder.  However, “To Make You Feel My Love” is truly a great performance, and it deserves a little more praise than it has gotten.
  12. What’s Going On“- 9 Elephants- The finale of Season 8 was full of great performances by both contenders, and this was definitely one of them.  I prefer the live version of this one slightly, but as you can tell I usually do when it comes to American Idol produced songs.  Definitely an under-appreciate song from the “Kris Allen Collection”.

The Verdict

I definitely enjoyed listening back over Kris’ performances of the season to see just how far he progressed as a competitor and an artist.  As for the playlist, the following make the cut:

  • “Ain’t No Sunshine”
  • “All She Wants To Do Is Dance”
  • “Come Together”
  • “Falling Slowly”
  • “Heartless”
  • “She Works Hard for the Money”
  • “To Make You Feel My Love”
  • “What’s Going On”

What do you think of the “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 Entertainment, Kris Allen, Music, Singers, TCJ Playlist

American Idol Finale Performances Recap

This….. is…… American Idol!  Sorry, I had to.  I hadn’t done that yet this season I don’t think.  Anyway, Season 8 comes down to this, the final six competition performances of the year.  I’m sure it’ll be epic.  Hmm.

Ryan reminds us to all fix our DVRs for the finale runover, but I will predict now that millions of people will still flock to message boards to complain.  First up is…

Adam Lambert singing “Mad World” by Tears for Fears for his re-do performance.  What’s up with the cape, man?  Haha, and the dramatic fog screens going across the floor?  This is over the top without even trying to be.  But in all seriousness, this is good.  I think it’s better than the first time he did it overall.  There aren’t any small bum notes anywhere, which is always a plus.  I’m not seeing the big twist that we heard he was going to do, but it was still good.  Not your typical Adam Lambert here.  Randy gave it an A+ and loved the fog machines, Kara said he is an incredible artist, Paula told him to bask in it, and Simon thought it was over theatrical like Phantom of the Opera.  Next up is…

Kris Allen singing “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers for his re-do performance.  Kris has really nice parents, I really like them.  I will probably miss them more than anyone this season, except for Allison.  And Meghan.  So nevermind.  Anyway, this has been one of my favorite performances from Kris this year, so I’m glad he went with this one.  It’s more understated than his other two, so it’ll be good to bring it back to the fore front.  Great performance.  This is more my kind of thing.  Really good ending, too.  Randy thought it was one of his best ever, Kara complicated his ability to make an intimate bond, Paula says something about “Allenizing” things, and Simon said he had doubted America’s choice last week, but now he takes it all back.

I’d have to give that round to Kris, and Simon agrees with me.  I always knew Simon knew what he was talking about.

Adam Lambert singing “A Change is Gonna Come” by Patti LaBelle and Sam Cook for Simon Fuller’s choice.  Wow, this is really good, I’ve gotta say.  He’s hitting some big ole notes as usual, but it seems to work well for this song.  I enjoyed this much more than the first one.  It’s one of my favorite Adam performances of the year for sure.  There’s more substance to it than usual screech fest.  The judges pretty much all thought that it was his best ever, and Simon said he was definitely back in the game.  Next up is…

Kris Allen singing “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye for Simon Fuller’s choice.  This is very Kris Allen, to quote Paula.  A very cool pop sound to this one, which is definitely what he should go with after Idol.  I think this performance is proof that he has the most potential radio success after Idol from anyone this season.  It’s not his best, but I could imagine hearing it on the radio.  Randy thought it was a little light for him, Kara like the song choice and thought he delivered a message, Paula thought he “tore it up” and made Marvin Gaye proud, and Simon thought it was like 3 friends in a bedroom strumming along to Marvin Gaye and too laid back for a finale.

Simon gave that round a million percent to Adam.  I think it goes to Adam as well, but not by a million percent.

Oh great, now the epic coronation song is up.  I can’t wait to see that one.  Not.

Adam Lambert singing “No Boundaries”, this year’s coronation song written by Kara DioGuardi.  This song typical Idol cheese, limburger to be exact.  He’s doing a great job vocally, though it gets a little shouty in the end.  Not typical Adam “screech” just shouty.  This song is going to kill Kris unless they allowed them to change it up.  Good vocal for Adam, though not the most captivating performance.  Randy thought it was pitchy, Kara gave herself a shout out for writing it (Come on Kara), Paula will forever be his fan, and Simon made fun of the song, but said Adam has been one of the best and most original ever.  Next up is…

Kris Allen singing “No Boundaries” as well.  Unless Kris can change it up it’s going to kill him.  Well, the beginning was really good!  In the middle it kind of fell a part a bit, but he got it back together.  I actually really liked that.  The song didn’t kill him like I thought it would.  Adam’s always got him beat as far as range and ability, but Kris knows what he can do and does it really well.  Randy thought the key was high, but said he was amazing; Kara said he is a compelling artist and incredible person; Paula said he’s done an amazing job this season and deserved every bit of it; and Simon said the first was his best, but watching him as been incredible because he has improved so much.

Now the real reason everyone’s watching American Idol tonight…

Carrie Underwood singing the good-bye song “Home Sweet Home”.  Carrie’s looking great back on the Idol stage!  Great performance of “Home Sweet Home” by Carrie.  I think this just proves that she is the greatest winner of American Idol.  She is one of the only people that actually sound better live than in the studio.  I will always be a fan.  I give the night to Carrie Underwood!

What did you think of tonight’s show?  Who do you think will be winning tomorrow night?

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 American Idol, Breaking News, Entertainment, Music, No Politics Tuesday, Singers, Television