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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 Top 8 Recap

Thanks for joining us for “No Politics Tuesday” at The Conservative Journal!  The play-by-play for American Idol’s Top 8 Recap starts right here!

Alright, so the theme is songs from the year the contestant was born.  Ryan says that’s a fan favorite?  I can think of many others I prefer to this one.  Some pictures of the judges as children are flashed across the screen, and then it’s capped off with a picture of Ryan, who was a funny looking little kid.  Then it’s right off to the start of the show with…

Danny Gokey singing “Stand By Me” by Mickey Gilley.  Well, as someone who does not Danny at all, I will admit this is good.  He isn’t yelling or anything and his esophagus doesn’t sound like it’s going to fly out of his mouth.  Sometimes when he sings I get this strange feeling he is in extreme pain.  There are a few parts in the middle that are weird and field with some bizarre kind of scatting or something.  Good performance even though I don’t like him at all.  Randy and Kara think the arrangement was weird, but thought it was great; Paula loved it; and Simon thought it was great. Next up is…

Kris Allen singing “All She Wants To Do Is Dance” by Don Henley.  I’ve said this many times, but I’ll say it again: Kris is the only guy on this show that I can stand (generally).  He wanted to be a taxi driver as a kid?  That’s hilarious.  Kris is singing with his guitar in the middle of the crowd, and the beginning is weird.  The words sound kind of jumbled or something?  But overall it’s good.  It definitely improves as it goes on.  Not his best, and I think he is better suited on slower songs, but it’s still good.  Kara thought it was “jazz/funk homework”?  What does that mean?  Paula thought it was good, Simon thought it was indulgent, boring, forgettable, etc, and Randy didn’t like the arrangement.  Next up is…

Lil Rounds singing “What’s Love Got To Do With It” by Tina Turner.  Lil’s mom reminds us several times that her name is really Lil.  Okay?  No one was arguing with you about it woman.  Lil has that “diva” package that is always present on Idol, but she’s just not as good as the one’s in the past.  The opening was extremely shakyl; almost like she was nervous.  It got a little better as it went on, but I just don’t think she’s ever going to be REALLY good.  She doesn’t have the “chops”.  Paula rattles on something but ultimately means Lil didn’t make it her own and it was karaoke; Simon says they aren’t looking for second or third rate Tina Turners; Randy reminds everyone Lil is good; and Kara says she needs to become an artist.  I’m sick of the judges saying “Alright everyone, Lil is awesome, buuuuut she sucked tonight.”  If you suck every week you are not awesome.  Next up is…

Anoop Desai singing “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper.  Anoop apologizes for being a cocky jerk last week.  Oh gosh, the lats time this song was on American Idol was when Haley Scarnato butchered it a few years ago.  It’s odd that I remember that.  Anoop does a nice job on this one.  He has this pattern of being horrible and then coming back with something that’s actually pretty good.  The judges loved it, and didn’t really say anyting important.  Though Simon did agree with me and call me him a “yo-yo”.  Good job Anoop.  Next up is…

Scott MacIntyre singing “The Search Is Over” by Survivor.  Scott is singing with his guitar this week, which is nice change for him.  Scott is just not a great a singer, nor is he relevant to today’s music scene.  It sounds really pitchy to me throughout the whole song, then he goes for this big note and it’s just a big screech.  I’m not a fan of Scott as a singer, though he has a great personality.  Kara nicely tells him it was terrible; Paula gives him credit for leaving the piano; Simon tells him it was bad, Scott says it wasn’t THAT bad, Simon says “Yes, it was THAT bad.”  Next up is…

Allison Iraheta singing “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt.  With Megan gone (I’m still upset), Allison is by far my favorite.  She starts out really strong.  Man, she is a great singer!  I love her voice, the whole rock thing.  It really suits her.  Wow, I really like this.  That big note near the end was really strong.  One of Allison’s best so far, and my favorite of the night by a mile!  Paula thought it was “Allison” and great; Simon thought it was very good but doesn’t think she’s likeable?  What the heck Simon, Allison is awesome.; Randy thought she reminded her of Kelly Clarkson, but needs to fix her personality; and Kara thought it was great.  Next up is…

Matt Giraud singing “Part Time Lover” by Stevie Wonder.  Matt starts out really strongly, but then after he gets into the more upbeat part he pulls a goat vibrato/singing-on-the-washing-machine note.  If he could just make it through one song without doing that.  It get’s better after that (until this weird high-pitch-growly nonsense), but then get’s better after that.  In all seriousness though, the performance was quite good.  Only two goaty notes during the whole song; very impressive.  The judges loved it, though they are clearly being rushed.  Next up is…

Adam Lambert singing “Mad World” by Tears for Fears.  Calmer Adam is back this week (thankfully), so hopefully there won’t be any screeching or wailing.  Adam is doing a really good job.  A really really good job.  Technically speaking, he has one of the best voice I’ve ever heard.  It’s just not my thing, generally.  But this performance is really good.  I think he’s probably going to go all the way.  They’re pushed for time so all they can do it let Simon give him a standing “O”.  That’s quite an accomplishment.

Scoreboard- Top 8

  • Adam Lambert- A
  • Allison Iraheta- A
  • Danny Gokey- B+
  • Matt Giraud- B
  • Kris Allen- B-
  • Anoop Desai- B-
  • Lil Rounds- C
  • Scott MacIntyre- D

What did you think of tonight’s show?  Who was your favorite?  Who do you think will go home?  Leave your comments below and don’t forget to return to The Conservative Journal later for the American Idol poll and videos.

Thanks for visiting!

Rick

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Filed under American Idol, Entertainment, No Politics Tuesday, Television