Tuesday, July 6, 2010

American Idol Covers

I haven't posted in a while. Actually I was originally going to start this post something like "I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while," but then I realized that was actually rather pompous to think that people were waiting with bated breath for me to return. Ha! Don't think so. I'm thinking that until I get smart and decide to recreate dramatic scenes from "Sophie's Choice" this will be a small but loving blog. Actually, "why does that sound like I'm apologizing for the size of my.....?" It's been so long since I've posted that the only responses I was getting under comments had to do with car loans and penile implants (again with the size jokes.). I'm just getting out of a deep depression coming from a bunch of things. The worst victory in any reality contest. Even worse then the year Bebe beat Nina Flowers on "RuPaul's DRAG RACE." I think between Idol, this years Tony show which even put me to sleep, and Meryl losing another Oscar and this time to Sandra Bullock!!!!

I think I'm still in shock that Lee beat Crystal for the title American Idol. However I started seeing the signs that led up to this apocalypse in singing. The week before Lee came into the finales with a strong showing of his "Better Man" and the award winning "Hallelujah." I call it award winning because every time I hear that song its during someone's winning moment. Come on. Let's face it this is the song that Jason Castro, Lee DeWyze, heck even Tim Urban succeeded singing and on other shows people sing this and win. Also since Simon Cowell owns a part of that song he makes money every time it's played. Thank god no one would use that song instead of "Angel" for Animal Cruelty commercials.

Eventually I would like to type a quick thing about what I thought of their performances and possibly even throw in a few words about the finale, or as I like to call it "The Brady Bunch meets The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame." Seriously only on Idol do they drag out people like Alice Cooper and Chicago. I'm waiting for Debbie Reynolds.

I want to focus on the future and pretend this past season of Dallas never happed and wake up in the shower. I found some great videos of our favorites (alright mostly my favorite) former Idol contestants singing covers. I wanted to share some of them because it's like seeing an old friend and some of their singing is better then the original version. Also stripped off them looking scared while they're ripped to shreds makes for a much better performance and much more enjoyment from us. These are currently not on the blog because I haven't learned that art yet but they can all be found on youtube quite eaisly.

CRYSTAL BOWERSOX "WHAT'S GOING ON" (A cover from the 4 Non Blondes from Leno)

I've always loved the song just not necessarily because of Linda Perry but the vocal lines are killer and it's got that great out of control style I love. I'm surprised more women on Idol don't attempt this song as a showcase for some powerbelting. Crystal always has been able to prove to me that she is so much more then just some hippie guitar chick when she performs. She's a stunning interpreter of music with wise beyond her years voice and an honest personality. She's perfectly in synch with the band and you feel love between them and her voices rises effortlessly into her head belt. I think she is such a better singer then someone like Melissa Etheridge is and I hope that she's able to have that type of career. She reminds me a bit of Miranda Lambert mixed in with just the right amount of Sheryl Crowe.


Every time, I see Katharine perform I keep asking myself. "How could she have not WON!!!! and Why isn't she a bigger star then she already is?" The girl is probably the best looking contestant Idol has ever has had and she has grace and charm in spades. She works the camera like a pro, and she's probably one of the top ten in the most visible media attention. ( Except for Kellie Picker, who just appearances on Ellen alone make her the cutest thing in the world, and oh, there is that Oscar winner.) Kat just has all of "it" and yet she hasn't found that moment yet and I'm worried if she ever will. She is gifted in the way that Michael Buble or Harry Connick Jr. are. She's able to take a standard and make it so flighty, fun, and even a hint of sex (without going crude...hear that Ms.Cyrus) I honestly think she should look into making a standards disc like Connick or Buble does, maybe some original ballads. Given how I see her charming the older male with just a smile says that's all the right marketing she's need.


We are the Fallen have proven to be very unique in their choice of covers. In concert they cover everything from Iron Maiden's "The Flight of the Icarus" to a hard rock version of Madonna's "Like a Prayer" so you never know what treat your in store for. The thing I love about this is the merge of two groups who seem to LOVE overpowering bombast. U2 likes to create epics and things that are very overpowering. I wonder what Bono would think of Carly and maybe one day we'll be lucky enough to find out. Her's is a masterclass in building the song from soft hush tones to full throttle powerbelting that we have come to expect from our dainty all black ensemble clad Carly. She finds the truth about the song and at one point is able to still sell the truth but belt the heck out of the song.


I'm only including the commercially released version and the performance is based on the 3rd season when he came back to sing this heart twister. I think this was the first song that was brought back after competition and sold as a single (besides the winning single,) When Clay performed this Carpenters song in Season 2 he wore all black, had a bright, bright light behind him and just delivered it with heartfelt performance and a stunning held out showstopper of a note. What changed when he came back the next year was that he lost some of the emotion. How could you not after the amount of time in between and life alternating things that happened. However the song also became bigger, better, the note stunned even more so then when we first heard it.


This pick might have confused many people as Janelle started in the competition with some screen time but it mostly focused on issues or off performances. Her audition piece was an acoustic version of Estelle "American Boy." After she was eliminated on the first life performance where she unwisely choose a Heart song. Quick lesson unless you have POWER vocals do not try a Heart ever!!! Actually after she was freed from The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse on the first live show she took too her youtube account and delivered this with an original country vibe that stayed true to its R&B tones. I think if she had stayed within her vocal limits and worked songs to fit her instead of trying to fit into the song she could have done really work


I thought I would give back and listen to Lee covering a Marilyn Mason song. I'm glad that he was able remove the cold electronic sounds that are Manson's greeting card by doing so he gave the song more of a folk edge which fit Lee like a glove. That makes me somewhat happy that regardless of what I think about Lee he does know who he is as an act and he's not going to be something that they made up. Only time will tell if that's a good idea.


I heard this cover that Adam did right around the time he was in "Wicked." I had heard he auditioned for Idol so I was checking his name on here. I couldn't believe the power I heard coming from him on a song gives you nothing. It's amazing that most of that range including those high notes comes across like he's not even trying but he hits them each time and just when you think he's gotten to the top of his high notes he breaks out an additional higher key.

and finally almost towards the end this column (I know how many were shocked I didn't add ANY Kelly Clarkson to this post. I figured that I would save her talents/my love for her for another column. I'd like to include.


It was a very tough call choosing between this one and her "I Will Always Love You" performance. They're both great performances but I think in that one she imitated Whitney a little too much and then found her footing. With this song you could hear in the first few notes she was going to have fun with this and show everyone including Patti how she would SING Rainbow. I put that word SING in all Caps because that's what she did that night!! Vocally I have to say that she is all over the place but what a wonderful place for her to be.

I hope you enjoyed this article regarding great performances of former Idol songers other peoples this past season there will a lot more articles and I'm adding some other fun new stuff.


Anonymous said...

Simon Cowell DOES NOT own the rights to the song Hallelujah nor does he receive any residusals from when the song is performed. That is a rumor that somehow got started on the Internet but it definitely is not true.

Anonymous said...

FYI, Lee didn’t sing Better Man that would be by Pearl Jam. He sang Simple Man, by Lynyrd Skynyrd. I know it can be confusing, both having that “man” word in the title