“American Idol” boys & men in my music collection

“American Idol” has gotten a slow start for me during the last couple years. I think the last remotely exciting semi-finals was either Season 8 (where Kris Allen and Alexis Grace gave my favorite stand-out performances) or Season 9 (where Crystal Bowersox was the lone standout with her cover of Alanis Morrisette… which had me thinking of checking her out and forever associating Crystal’s sound with hers).

There are no real front runners yet… the men usually being my favorite of the two rounds, has left a lot to be desired lately. Especially last night.
Where I was near falling asleep, I was so underwhelmed.

I was literally missing having Simon Cowell on the show.
[btw, the Yahoo! pop blogger Lyndsey Parker got an interview with him… asked about the firing of Paula… he blames it on the network, who thought the banter was too much like “American Idol”

BULLSHIT!

that’s right, I said it… nothing else describes that statement. Paula is great, if not better than she was on “American Idol”… or at least the last couple seasons she was on… all this speculation that she was an alcoholic or at least something was in her Coke cups

Paula Abdul doesn’t make it remotely similar to “American Idol”… in fact, aside from it being a singing competition (or so I thought it was until guys like kid rapper and Chris Rene were given a shot to really make it big… Chris managed to sell me on hip-hop being cool, depending on who the guy behind it is)… there aren’t too many similarities.

Some people might think that “The Voice” stole the idea of the mentoring system, I don’t know… they’re probably thinking it more than saying it.
But I truly believe that with “The Voice,” there is a lot more mentoring going on. Where the mentor literally sits down with his/her contestants, going through the song until it’s perfect or speaking of their own personal vibe… I really do like “The Voice” and it just might challenge me to reconsider whether I’d watch it or “Dancing with the Stars” come Monday March 19th…
that new show “Touch” saw what was going to happen, so it made the really smart move of moving their series premiere to Thursday the 22nd instead of Monday… simply couldn’t compete with all that… that I’m interested in, as well as that series “Awake” on NBC, which luckily has nothing competing with it on Thursday at 10pm… not in my book anyway, that slot’s been vacant since they stopped showing new “Beavis & Butt-head” on MTV… what’s with the hiatus? did it get cancelled again or do they need time to actually draw the animation for the show? lol]

but yeah, they needed a critical judge like Simon on the panel to really give these boys some tough love because I was not impressed with many of them at all…
they were being way too nice.

I do acknowledge that there will be one or two guys, supposing they make it, I won’t back up because… just not my cup of tea…
Joshua Ledot… who sang a Jennifer Hudson song (by the way, how the heck did they get that… I mean… I might be extremely ignorant in saying this, but if I don’t hear someone singing on my go-to radio station, they might as well not exist… at least they don’t to me in the mainstream music scene… having those blinders conveniently helps me turn a blind eye to every rap artist, every hip-hop artist (except for maybe Justin Timberlake, who still gets “Sexyback” and “Rock ya body” on my station on occasion)… no Fantasia (thank god)… and giving me a safe distance from Nicki Minaj… who I’d heard of in name, but want to continue to know nothing about her… her “Roman Holiday” performance is at the back of my mind and I want to keep it that way… )

Joshua had one of those preachy, strong voices that the judges go wild for… they’re saying it comes from God… or rather that God is coming out through his voice… I forget…
I believe the singing voice is one of God’s greatest gifts, I won’t hate on that… but I’m not willing to say the latter… that his voice was reflecting a greater force… cuz I wasn’t feeling it personally. That’s just me

the pop blogger didn’t care much for the wild card… and believe me, I believed it was in the bag that it was going to be Johnny… that really cute, hunky guy that Jennifer fell in love with… he got cut so suddenly with no explanation at all… (… :gasp: what if he already has a record contract with someone else and that’s why he got booted)… seriously, they didn’t focus on him at all during Vegas time and like that, he’s gone without the viewers knowing why…

all the comments were pretty much saying what I was thinking “thank god it wasn’t the cowboy”
:falloff:

there was this clash of east & west with Heejun and Richie Law, the black-hatted cowboy during group week… I didn’t care too much for Richie, especially cuz they were undoubtedly making the Scotty connection with him
trust me, different guy

 

now I feel really bad that I haven’t listened to his album yet 😕
I should really get around to that… though Daughtry has me thinking of coming back to their new album again… they’re supposedly going to perform their new single on the show March 15th…
“Outta my head” is the 2nd second…

I had said that there’s plenty of gold to choose from on the album… I’m sincerely hoping that they’re not going to repeat what they did with “Leave this town”… where I can no longer listen to “Live after you”… never really liked it and it got too much air time on the radio…
“September” was good in the sentimental department, but there were a bunch of tracks that never got to see the light of day… certainly not on my radio station

“Outta my head” was a questionable track for me where I wasn’t sure if I’d like it at all, but later I had come around regarding it… but trust me, it is not the best song from the album.

With Daughtry, they like making singles out of the commerical sounding tracks and there’s usually one sentimental single

self-titled album had:
Home (which I never listen to anymore)
It’s not over (very commerical)
Over you (a little more sentimental, my favorite single)
It feels like tonight (kinda commerical, but Max Martin might have gotten that to work for him, lol)
What about now? (sentimental all around…)

apparently, “Crashed into you” was a single, but not on any station I listen to

[gah, I made that crack, but Jesse McCartney doesn’t get played on my key radio station… so that’s like saying he doesn’t exist… luckily, he is on another station I listen… not just nearly as much… it has more Rihanna and Kesha than I can stomach]

I think it might be because I didn’t like the singles or got sick of them on the radio… but my favorite songs on the album never got aired on the radio… so only the people like me who take the time to listen to entire albums (I decided for the heck of around 2001, after I’d had it for a couple years, to listen through all of Backstreet Boy’s “Millennium” album… there was a lot of unmined Max Martin gold in there, my friends… I had since listened through entire albums when I got around to them just to know what might be lurking)

…I could continue this Daughtry conversation lately in this entry, I’m getting beyond my first point to make

I thought it was for sure that Johnny would be the newly reinstated semi-finalist… it was Jermaine, that really tall black dude with the low voice… Lyndsay didn’t care much for him and thinks he’ll be eliminated easily… I beg to differ… his voice was a perfect vehicle for a Luther Vandross song (another artist I gotta check into cuz I’m sure there’s one song he does that I LOVE… it used to remind me of Christmas growing up, if only I remembered some lyrics so I could google it)…

he was one of 5 guys that gave performances I genuninely liked

Reed Grimm… I love the nod to Sheila E. with the drums and the broken down version of “Moves like Jagger”… a little something different is good… I just don’t know how many people genuinely like him… I like him, but don’t know how far the weird gimmick will go with him :shrug:
I’m kinda concerned, but I don’t think the show will suffer too much without him

Creighton Fracker (my nickname for him: “the starving artist” because he listed that as his occup.)
…the song was a good choice for him, but I wasn’t feeling it too much… no disrespect, but I don’t think he’s one of the best out there… I like weirdness, but just wasn’t up for too much of him

Eben Franckeweiz (however you spell it)… did a BOLD move in covering an Adele song… and truth be told, I have not heard “Set fire to the rain” in full yet, so I really can’t judge one way or another… it’s just one of two songs on the radio of hers that I get remotely excited about and its very excited with those two songs…
my folks were saying that he was going to be eaten alive and Simon wouldn’t stand for this… I found myself being kinda lenient with people, even the ones I didn’t like too much… he might get the younger vote, but yeah… I don’t think he’s that great in any respect :shrug:

Deandre… whatever his last name is… guy #3… he covered an Earth, Wind & Fire track I never heard before… I don’t really remember him all that well either, supposedly this is his 2nd season…
the judges gave him a standing ovation and Jennifer said he had this perfect falsetto…

I’m all for a new falsetto based artist… really haven’t had a good one in decades… E/W/F are all about that in their music and they’re a great group… supposedly Prince’s falsetto in the late 70’s had people thinking of Smokey Robinson… Prince has the best falsetto I know in the business, if not the most perfect anyone could ever pull it off…
so I’m kinda picky on this in that… I didn’t like Deandre as much as the judges did… his falsetto was nowhere NEAR perfect… this, I agree with Lyndsay on, and she thinks he’ll be a wild-card spot

oh, by the way… we’ll have a top 13 this year by default… top 5 boys and girls, plus 3 wild cards

hopefully that’ll take care of some confusion, lol

Deandre isn’t really my cup of tea, so if he makes it through, I most likely won’t support him unless he really impresses me… and my standards are kinda high this year… in part because I know way too many male singers these days and there’s not a lot of originality left… and in part cuz I want a girl to win this year, think there’s a greater selection of women than guys

so how many is that so far… 6… there’s one more…

oh wait… there were 8 guys I didn’t care for, Jermaine was one of the 5 I liked… a very exclusive club right now

Aaron Marcellus… didn’t get a lot of air time and I didn’t care for his song necessarily… I mean, I think the entire Jackson 5 catalog should be erased from Idol history because none of their songs are that great… I think they’re incredibly overrated, plus, unless you’re doing it in falsetto or sound like a 10-year old boy, it doesn’t sound anywhere near as good as it could have before…

however… supposing this guy picks better material, he could sneak into my heart and this exclusive club the judges like him and I tend to agree he is likeable and unique among the contestants this year :shrug: wouldn’t count him out yet, though I don’t know how America feels about him

I am missing one more guy I didn’t care for is he worth remembering if I can’t even… whatever… I’ll come back to that and go through my list of favorites…

oh wait…
Phillip Phillips… probably will go down in the same book as Thia Megia last year… when they’re off the show, even their catchy name won’t be remembered anymore…

I like this guy and his personality… but I think the whole gimmick with him performing with the guitar. It worked the first couple times, but now he just looks stiff and awkward doing it… he needs to get out from behind that thing and really let loose…
his song choice was a bold one, for sure, and I don’t know for sure how well it went… but I dunno, unless he shifts gears dramatically, he’ll get lost in the shuffle real quick

now to the exclusive club of guys I was more than remotely impressed by:

aside from Jermaine…

Adam Brock… who I like all around, he’s a nice guy with a good unique voice… the pop blogger didn’t care much for his song choice, though it was “kara-Gokey karoake”…
I liked the performance because I liked him… and I’d like to see more of him, personally :shrug:

my dad and I were at a crossroads with Colton Dixon, the first performance that caught my attention in a good way…
I was taken out of my seat and given a bit of a ride with something unique…
kinda like when James Durbin did that Muse track, which used to give me the wrong kind of goosebumps, kinda scary that song is, too intense, but he made it work… the only difference: I already was in love with what James brought to the show… I ought to buy his album too

I’m only going to buy Adele if I can get Christina Perri at the same time…
I’m thinking that I’ll get James Durbin when Casey Abrams’ album comes out cuz I liked both of them a lot last year…

Colton covered Paramore… another indie band now more known as being associated with the “Twilight” soundtrack(s)… they did two songs on the soundtrack I own (Muse did the first track, “Supermassive Black Hole” which is played during the baseball scene)… I didn’t like the later “I caught myself” too repetitive

the first of their tracks I heard was “The only exception”… which, no joke, sounds so depressing that you want to kill yourself… it is so melancholy that it is sickening… and it’s supposed to be a very happy message too. If only they could explain what this person is the only exception TO… they never explained that…

Paramore’s “Decode” was a song that Hayley Williams (the lead vocalist) wrote for the soundtrack to be picked to be a part of it… and its writing was supervised by Catherine Hardwicke and Stephenie Meyer, who approved…

although I don’t know how the lyrics relate to the story
“how did we get here, I used to know you so well…”
it sounds extremely negative and not so love story-y… :shrug: I’m confused on that

Colton did what he called a bold move, stepping from behind the piano… I thought he took to the stage well and ended it standing ON the piano… Randy praised his song choice, thinking the industry needs another indie artist like him… i.e. he is RELEVENT, which is a key ingredient…
Jennifer prefers him being sentimental and sensitive… I’d love to see more of him for sure

my dad… didn’t quite get this :shrug: and that’s okay. It’s not his fault cuz he doesn’t listen to the radio unless it’s classic rock or a Sirius station that does songs 35+ years old…
I’m not a huge indie music type of person… my only experiences come from this soundtrack (which has some great songs on it, despite the fact “Eyes on Fire” is the only one I listen to regularly)… and Linkin Park… they’re kinda eerie every now and then… but there are at least three songs (plus the one on the “Twilight” soundtrack) that I am crazy about… LOVE

plus, I don’t know how far Colton will make it in the competition… but he is easily one of the cutest guys there, in a unique sort of way… so he’s easy to watch and he’s very different, apparently relevant… which is a good thing. I hope America agrees

Heejun, I always kinda liked… ever since his audition where he was nervous and this amazing voice came out of him… last night he reminded me a little of Josh Groban. His song was called “Angels,” not something I’m familiar with… the judges didn’t think it showcased his voice very well. I kinda agree 😕 but I think he’d gotten enough airtime where people already adore him a great deal

not that I would want to make it grounds for “I think he should win,” lol…
Scotty McCreery got that ball rolling in a way I never saw coming… I thought he had a very unique voice in that I thought he was BORN to do this… now that’s a God-given talent if there was ever such a thing (and no, I don’t think his voice is something from a higher power… nobody has that going for them, trust me)

Kris Allen, now, seems to be nothing more than a ploy by right-winged America to ensure that Adam Lambert didn’t win… apparently there are DOZENS, if not HUNDREDS of thousands of people that are crazy about him and thought he got robbed… wellllll… why didn’t you vote for him then, if you like him so much?

I voted for Kris 74 times (give or take a few)… I had no idea he’d win, so I made sure to do MY part, lol

things have gotten a little too predictable as of late… in that… with the contestants where I’ve said “I’m going to be so sad and miss him so much when he’s gone”… they’d gone on to win, despite the fact I never thought it possible… Lee, I kinda suspected had a chance (but that’s a moot point now, nobody bought his record)…

I would like for a girl to win this year… like really bad… not another case of one guy getting booted into the winner’s circle cuz they’re likable…
I got into this show to look for the next great artist and hopefully a few records that I can get excited about adding to my collection in a period where there were few choices to cater to my tastes/needs

Chase Likens… wins the category of “what the hell did this guy come from and why haven’t I heard about him sooner”…
this feels like and probably was the first time anyone had seen him on the show… he got no screentime at all… so they were hiding this great country voice in the wings for such a momentous occasion…
I think he has raw, natural talent, not to mention he’s good looking

as of late, I find myself thinking… maybe I ought to invest in my country artists… I’m interested in Blake Shelton and what he can do, since he is a judge on “The Voice”… but there are a couple others that I’d like to get to know… just gotta pick and choose whose voices I like the best
Martina McBride might be the only woman that I’d consider cuz I like one song and she’s the only celeb I know that has my birthday :falloff:

Let’s just say I have more of an appetite for country singers right now because that’s a HUGE thing right now in the music industry (still doesn’t warrant a dozen award shows for their genre… that’s just stupid… they just need the CMA’s and that’s it)

…and that’s it…. I think it hit everybody

 

When it comes to guys in the music industry, there isn’t nearly as much diversity as there is with women… at least I don’t think so…
but even though I have a lot of similar artists in my collection, each of them has their place 😎

I consider myself a little bit of an expert on that because each guy has their own flavor, own reason for being in my collection… and I go to them, expecting a certain vibe

Going by memory, here’s my list (and I’m going by singers/musicians, trying to leave groups out of the discussion unless its a distinct lead singer I know relatively well):

Jesse McCartney
Ryan Cabrera
John Mayer
Rob Thomas
(aw, hell with it… I own his album after all) Robert Downey Jr.
Chad Kroeger of Nickelback
Chris Daughtry (it’s legit also cuz the first album was more or less a solo record featuring him)
Bryan Adams
Clay Aiken
(memory’s run out)
Greg Raposo
Jon Bon Jovi
Richard Marx
Jason Derulo
[bleep… and I just mentioned him too] Kris Allen
Michael Jackson
(and of course….. DUH) Prince
Hall & Oates (I’m cheating a bit here, it’s mostly Daryl Hall singing, but I don’t care)
John Lennon & Paul McCartney (and why the hell not include them? lol)
Adam Levine of Maroon 5 (it’s a team effort, but his voice was the main reason I invested in the band)

[btw, Happy Leap Day everybody… last leap day, I spent watching my burned DVD with all those 80’s videos… I don’t think I’ll get a chance to do that this year, unless I do it at night my last possible chance… which will be from 11:05 to…whenever.. I think it’s either 2 hours or 80 minutes of footage]

now, why include Chad Kroeger and not Billy Joe of Green Day?
I kinda think of Green Day as an overall band, not so much his voice (however distinct and cool it might be)… his voice was also not the key selling point for

who I’m not including…
David Cook because I’m still getting over the hangover of the album, which came a little too close to home for me with the theme of… well, see my blog from the past year or so

and Scotty cuz I ain’t listened to him yet

Three Doors Down and Lifehouse… I own an album each…
I do not know the lead singer’s name of 3 doors… I know Jason Wade of Lifehouse, but don’t know him well enough to make a clear argument (“Smoke & Mirrors” suffered cuz of the David Cook hangover)

Foreigner is a group more than its lead singer, I think his name is Mick James
…heck, maybe Bon Jovi shouldn’t be on this list cuz I think of it more as a group than just Jon Bon Jovi

my family, going to both sides of it… born & raised in Jersey… homegrown Bruce Springsteen fans because he’s a hometown success story… not that they know him or grew up in the same town, but he became famous from a couple towns over… my folks first saw him in Asbury Park several years back…

me… aside from “Dancing in the Dark” and “Glory Days” (two of which have videos on my burned DVD… “Glory Days” is BY FAR my favorite because it tells a story as well as being a kick-ass song)… I don’t care much for him at all… really don’t :shrug: doesn’t do a lot for me…

Bon Jovi, on the other hand… I am pretty crazy about and think should be the band to be associated with New Jersey more than anyone else… they’re still killing it and get songs on the radio every now and then… “We weren’t born to follow” is something I had to warm up to, but hey, it’s a good song…

need I say that “Livin’ on a Prayer” is one of the best songs ever written in the history of songwriting… it just gets you jazzed up, excited and the climax is probably one of the BIGGEST in the industry…
it’s pretty much up there with “Don’t stop belivin’ ” by Journey… as far back as I can remember, it was one of the videos I remembered extremely well.. other memorable moments…
“Alone” by Heart
“Hazy Shade of Winter” by The Bangles (enough said)
everything Billy Idol (in a WTF was I thinking sort of way)
Whitney Houston in both songs
both songs by Debbie Gibson

but about this video… it was mostly black & white, great stage set-up… then at the climax, it goes to color and Bon Jovi flies off the stage… to me, that was EPIC and… can’t say this enough, the song’s incredibly moving

all that’s left in my collection are the female artists and the boy bands… who I really can’t discuss in the same manner

I took a chance on Jason Derulo cuz I liked the direction of “Whatcha say”… after hearing it featured on “So you think you can dance” on a NappyTab number…
he’s kinda similar to a lot of R&B artists right now… Ne-Yo is the closest thing I can deserve to what he brings to the scene (ala his experience in the industry, Usher is probably the king of that class of artist right now)…

I don’t think I’ll get the 2nd album… and yeah, I like Ne-Yo a lot (probably will wait for a greatest hits with him… fell in love with his unique voice the first time I heard him perform “Sexy Love”… it was one of those “I didn’t expect that voice to come out of that guy” moments)

Jason Derulo’s album is among the few where I think it gives a great presentation, storyline and overall package where you can’t ask for much else…
his upper register is really good, not to be messed with… mainly, I like him because he incorporates some current devices from the school of hip-hop and makes it sound like something I like listening to… his songs also kinda give the vibe that’s he’s a bit of a gentleman and is good in the ways of romance… one or two songs have me feeling in love with him cuz his vocals are just so moving and beautiful

Chad Kroeger took exception too because it’s not every day you hear this low, gritty voice with a great sense of melody… not to mention he did a good collaboration, if not great, with Santana called “Into the night”… he makes rock music sound melodic and gives a very tender delivery I love listening to… I just can’t account for most of the songs that aren’t on the radio, a little too rock-ish for me

another memorable moment from the collection of videos was “Dirty Diana”… but  memorable as a low point… at least the first couple times I saw it… I knew MJ as the kind of artist who dances a lot, has a lot of fun with his music and I didn’t know until recently just how serious he is about it… the video just seemed very… eerie, not all what I’m used to seeing from him. It’ll be fun to watch again now that I do like the song and like him a great deal more than I did…

MJ has a really high register, which is kinda odd, takes a little getting used to if you have no idea what you’re in for (it’s kind of a mind$%&#… hearing that high voice coming from that man, lol… kinda the same way where Prince’s speaking voice is so low and velvety unlike when he sings with the high voice)…
I know him a bit more through “Thriller” and “Bad”… the latter exhibiting my favorite vibe of the two… “Thriller” has the most recognizable songs he’d ever done… but with “Bad,” it’s just a little bit of everything and DAMMNNNN… I just love it to pieces, especially with some unique songs like “Speed Demon” and tracks so beautiful I wanna cry like “Liberian Girl”… plus, “Smooth Criminal”… need I say more

I was one of the late partygoers regarding MJ… but I gotta say… I respect the hell outta what this man accomplished… and I don’t have just “Bad” to back me up… the entire “This is it” documentary was outta sight… really showed him to be among the most creative and hard-working people in the industry where he is visual as well as musical… really brings a visual sense to music, which is something I’d always kinda taken away from the experiences of music itself

Lennon/McCartney… I can’t go into a lot of detail about cuz I don’t know them quite as well… all around, I like Paul McCartney A LOT… I like John Lennon’s voice a bit more cuz it really comes through where it matters… plus it’s pretty versatile… it can be good with ballads as well as rocking out like nobody’s business (although there’s only one song like that I LOVE… and its from “A Hard Day’s Night”… “you can’t do that”… the bside to “can’t buy me love”)

Hall & Oates…
I think this is more of a group collaboration than just one person… so it’s kinda hard to discuss them here… Daryl Hall is noted to have one of the most unique voices in the industry, during that time… what everyone else was saying was “dude, that guy’s white? holy %#^&”…

Greg Raposo, I can’t say a whole lot about because he just has one album to his name (so far… rumor has it his next album will be released on his birthday… May 3rd)…
he has a very deep, rich voice… kinda like a younger Springsteen… I think what I liked about him, aside from the fact he was the only guy from Dream Street to have a solo record out… at the time… his songs were about everyday things, very relatable… his songwriting skills are actually not shabby… and maybe one day he’ll get more credit than just being an indie artist who hits a lot of “battle of the bands” competitions

Bryan Adams, I don’t know super well as of yet… but I’d been a fan of his songs for years…
if there’re any similiar artists out there I could lump him together with, it’d be Richard Marx… he’s like a combination of him and John Mellancamp… good with the sentimental stuff, but has an edge to his voice…
whatever I can say for Bryan Adams… his voice has always been pretty unique to me, always kinda grabbed me… it’s kinda gritty, but not to the extremes of Chad Kroeger…
there’s just that something extra with him I can’t quite explain as of yet… maybe I can make a better case for him on a later date

while I have him on the table…

Richard Marx…
he’s someone I’d been interested in for years… he’s ridiculously prolific (his greatest hits album has 17 songs on it… that’s pretty amazing… and I listen to at least a good 8-9 of them… maybe more)… he’s on the edge of sounding country, but he’s got a good voice… can write about romance like nobody’s business… and trust me, you don’t get the entire picture of what he can do simply from his most memorable song “Right here waiting”… he can play guitar as well as piano… not a lot of people can do that

and just so I can get him off the table of discussion completely… for the day at least…
as a singer, Robert Downey Jr. is nothing short of contemporary… his lyrics leave a little to be desired, but not too bad for a first attempt… he can do a little rock, a bit of pop, but mostly his record is more jazzy than anything else… and as a musician and overall songwriter… he sings about himself, writes his own material and that’s what brings that something different to the table…
I never expected a whole lot more than just a really good voice you don’t expect to hear from an actor… but there is truth in his music. I can’t say that about a lot of people

although…. to be fair, there are a lot of people on my list that write their own material…

….yeah… how about trying almost EVERYBODY…

Clay Aiken is the only one who flat out doesn’t… but hey, he’s an American Idol… shoot, I was gonna say winner… he didn’t win… but in my mind and sense of logic, he DID win… in my heart he sure as hell won…

Kris Allen didn’t write everything in his album, but there was plenty of him in there

Greg Raposo wrote 5 of the 9 songs, not all of them

JMac… I’d seen enough interviews to know that even when he isn’t writing his material, he picks the songs that best suit him and the message he wants to bring to the table…

I just kinda can make a better case for the truth in “The Futurist” because I know where that stuff came from :shrug: that’s roughly it

John Mayer, Kris Allen, Rob Thomas and Ryan Cabrera… all singer/songwriter types, but each has something unique going on in their music…

John Mayer is strictly a guitar guy and brings that to his music… he’s one of most truthful people on my list (although a lot of people will think his music is BS as of late cuz he’d become such a lady-killer, not in a good way)… there is a great deal of seriousness in his album “Battle Studies” and I think a lot of it does come from a very honest place

Rob Thomas is the most unique among the group because he’s more towards rock than pop… simply listen to his voice and you need look no further than HIS collaboration with Santana… “Smooth” was the first time I heard his voice… even if I didn’t like the song at the time, it was the first time I heard it…
I took a chance on him because “Ever the Same” stood out as one of the best written songs I’d heard in a long time… I got a whole bunch of stuff from his “Cradlesongs” album… I think he can do guitar as well as keyboards… not to mention he occasionally (lol) works with his band Matchbox 20… a different vibe there compared to his solo stuff… I think his solo stuff is more rock than that indie pop/rock vibe of his band

which leaves me with Kris & Ryan…

Ryan Cabrera is a singer/songwriter type, for sure… that’s part of the reason I was interested in him. His first album is better than his second, as I’ve said… I find the 2nd a little more depressing, he sounds a little broken up because he’d just recently split with his girlfriend… and I dunno… a little too much melancholy-ness in the songs… maybe a little too raw for my tastes and I don’t mind a little rawness. Just has to be done correctly
not nearly as much variety as in the first album either… bits and pieces of tracks 4 through 6 had their similarities… like how they started… might be cuz Johnny Rzenik of the Goo Goo Dolls co-produced it… so it has a little of that flavor in it…
when I think of him, I think of a man with his acoustic guitar because he is good with that instrument, definitely… he and Kris have that in common, though Kris doesn’t get to showcase it nearly as much as he could on record… maybe one or two songs he plays on himself

Kris Allen wasn’t quite what I expected when I first heard his album… it was different than anything I’d heard before, though I couldn’t quite place how/why it was different than any other artist. Not all of the songs were that great… maybe half was between passable and “I love this!”… not a lot of jumping up and down, but when broken down and understandable from the pieces to the whole… it’s not that bad… it’s different, not as commercial as it could be, but who needs commercialism in music anyway? Certainly didn’t need that to completely satisfy me… or else I’d be missing out on a couple of my favorites

Clay Aiken… yet another artist I can only define via one album… that’s the one downside with a lot of these guys… usually I either own only one album (so far with a couple of them) or there’s only one album I really like…

the majority is I only own one album but I’m still scooping for Rob Thomas’s first solo album, maybe checking around for John Mayer

oh I forgot Bublé… but I’d only heard his album once or twice so I can’t really make a case ruling with him just yet

Bryan Adams and Richard Marx, I only need one album cuz its their greatest hits… Hall & Oates, same thing…

Clay Aiken, I have three of his albums… one is his excellent debut, one was a list of covers and the other… I only like one song…
compared to Jesse McCartney, where… technically I own all of his studio albums and one EP… and supposedly one of two live albums (which I never listen to… he doesn’t sound that great live, unfortunately)… but of his full albums, I like all three, but for different reasons… and I guess with time, I grew to favor the newer ones because the maturity was more at my level or rather just felt a little more challenging… exciting…


Clay Aiken was nothing short of his brilliant voice… I enjoyed listening to him and his album, I still do on occasion… but he had great songwriters at his back… Jess Cates is a personal favorite who has appeared on a few not-so-well known singers I’m invested in… Desmond Child and Andreas Carlsson… who I’d heard do a lot of stuff over the years…
I just find him pleasant to listen to on that record, and that’s really as far as it goes… I tend to think that maybe his label let him down a little bit… heck, he almost might as well not exist in the mainstream music scene, never hear him on my radio stations… “Invisible” had a short run, but that was basically it

which leaves with the final two I can go on and on about as my two favorites… both currently and of all time… it’s a personal choice

but before I do that… actually, Adam Levine deserved to be in my top 3 anyday…

Maroon 5, Jesse McCartney and Chris Daughtry… I own all three of their main studio albums… and still enjoy listening to all of them… that’s a pretty big accomplishment, to captivate my attention and keep it through a number of successive albums 😎 my regards

Adam has probably the most unique voice I’d heard in a very long time… the first time I saw the video for “she will be loved”… I’ll never forget it… so unique and different… kinda liked that different vibe he was excuding, that… I dunno… kinda bad boy look, but with a heart of gold… didn’t expect that voice to come out of him.
then I’d continue for a number of years to make fun of his band’s name like a cruel, sick joke…
but now I called them Moron 5 cuz it’s a term of endearment my favorite morons in the world and they’re actually quite intelligent and great at what they do

he and Chris Daughtry have in common a number of things and it’s why I love them so much…
they are the voice and face of their bands… with Chris, the name… and a great deal of the songwriting is theirs… Adam likes to cooperate with Jesse Carmichael and James Valentine (one of which, I forget who, is his best friend)… but they got started on an album full of songs Adam wrote about this girl Jane that he was absolutely crazy about… that’s what kinda defined him for me… as an unconveniental… kinda nerdy, kinda bad-boy-ish musician with a way with words and a heart of gold… I loved that about him

Chris Daughtry, his voice is a little more appealing than Chad Kroeger, but they rock a lot of the same ideas… Chris just writes the songs I like listening to… and it goes beyond the singles for me, as I’ve said

For a rock oriented artist, Chris probably has the most melodic voice I know in that general. It’s very refreshing. He is so good, in fact, that I don’t remember anything he did while he was on “American Idol”… probably wasn’t anywhere near as good as he is now doing his own material. I can’t say how much comes directly from him… his next albums were full of collaborations between him, a few other artists as well as members of his band… some of the stories told in the music might not be his.
As far as I know, he’s happily married and had been since a little before he went on American Idol.

Most songs go into the matter of love… relationships, getting in them, stuff going on while in them, and getting out…

but I don’t overthink a lot of these guys’ music (Prince is the only person I really go to extremes with in trying to figure out what he’s writing about… part of the reason I took on this daunting task in the first place… of decoding his work)…

There is a core melody in a lot of his songs…
a few of the songs on his first album show that as well as the singles… sometimes better…

Used To is real good at accomplishing that, though it doesn’t stand out nearly as much as my other favorites
Crashed is another good rock oriented track where Chris can end each line with the greatest of exclamation points… I don’t know many that can pull off as effective a performance as he can
What I want… maybe not super strong in any aspect… I love the pacing of it, and of course Slash featuring on guitar is pretty cool too

my favorite track is “Breakdown”… because it’s very tender in places, vocally and musically… perhaps my favorite vocal performance Chris does on his first album… its the kind of thing only he can do…

I don’t know what else to say except that Chris Daughtry, I think… this is just me… probably one of the best songwriters in the industry right now… I mean, he’s written at least a couple dozen songs… and a lot of them sound very commercial, very catchy and all of the elements come together ridiculously well

on this 2nd album, “Leave this town”…

my favorite tracks, which were completely ignored for radio coverage… there was a really great key melody in there… example: track 5… Meant to Say… the opening of it shows the beauty of an electric guitar… and if Prince hadn’t introduced me to that idea, this would be the time I’d see the true artistry of that instrument I took for granted for such a long time…
two others: Open Your Eyes and Call Your Name… extremely sentimental… maybe not super commerical in any sense, but man… the radio could have benefited from either one of them… a sensitive, sentimental track by a rock band :shrug:

Ghost of me… I was surprised… above all the tracks… that this was never picked for the radio… it has a great melody, it is catchy and it is very commercial & accessible… I almost want ask “what the hell is wrong with putting this on the radio? Is it not good enough for you or something?”
I’d be willing to put up a fight for a couple of these songs 😉

the third album… I’m still getting the sense of, but at the moment, I look at it and feel extremely good about what I hear

it seems pretty common in music in general… that the singles are almost always among the first tracks on the album… just ask Daughtry and you see the proof…

“Crawling back to you” was ideal… definitely brought that complete package of what Daughtry is about… to the point, the first time I heard it… liked it right away… and I instinctively knew how he’d end the phrasing of the chorus, but also how the show came to an end… the closer to seal the deal…
now of course, it’s going on the shelf for a while where I don’t want to listen to it… but maybe after a while, I can lift the safeguards and enjoy it again…

“Outta my head” does have that commercial Daughtry vibe that all of their singles have… it’s all in the bridge leading to the chorus… it might be a little too rock-ish for my tastes… that’s my only real deal with it and the song doesn’t say a whole lot… “tried to forget about ya, but I can’t get you outta my head… like a simple song, I can’t get you outta my head”… the ending grinds my gears a tiny bit

as it is the pattern with Daughtry, one of their singles has to be very sentimental and slow paced…
“Start of something good” has that written all over it… I didn’t care too much for it at first, but one time, I just got it and man… I got kinda emotional listening to it… just stirred me up inside that’s something special

“Gone too soon” was an early favorite, one of the tracks that really stood out to me… my only problem… if it gets on the radio, I might have to change the channel because it is very sad and kinda depressing to listen to… it’s about a baby… not sure if its his or someone in his band… who died prematurely… don’t know the circumstances, but that’s basically what its about… reminsicing about what it’d be like several years from now, had s/he lived… it’s a very real issue, but something I probably couldn’t listen to a whole lot

“Rescue Me” has some great melodic elements to it… one of my favorite song enders he’d ever done… just repeats the first line from the chorus flat out… phew… good stuff there

“Leave this Town” probably will remain my favorite Daughtry album a little while longer… the one thing it has going for it… I can relate a bunch of the songs to the time I was heavily listening to them… and some of them made me think of “New Moon” and “Remember Me” and the emotional turmoil that came with both pictures…

but with “Break this spell” (the title track is really good too, not gonna count that out… kinda reminds me of a certain someone in my life that I’d been making a little peace with, trying not to get too overinvolved with him in my life), the thing it has going for it that might overwhelm the rest…
except for maybe one song that I was kinda blase about… didn’t really get into… and taking away the extra 4 tracks… every song on the album is great to where I could almost listen to it without skipping any tracks…

 

now, onto the final 2… officially…

 

after Dream Street broke up… this September, it will officially be 10 years… and man, I will do a wicked entry about that… I guess I was kinda like the moon without the earth… the center of my universe was gone… so I did the one thing I could to stay afloat…
Keep up to date with the members of the group and invest in their solo careers if they go on to have any, lol…

it was to be that Chris Trousdale would go solo under the old record company…
Greg would go solo his way and Matt, Frankie & Jesse would form their own group…

or maybe I got a few of those guys mixed up… anyway… those plans fell apart…

Jesse’s mom (his parents were involved with community theater for years) and Sherry Kondor, who was one of the higher-ups involved with Sugar Beats… which was more or less like an older, more professional 🙄 …version of the Kidz Bop franchise… group of kids that covered old songs… came together to form an indie label to launch his career…

I think later on he got picked up by Hollywood Records (who became a factory for a lot of Disney Channel related artists later on… but trust me, he is so much more than that now… heck, I never thought of him as one of those people, DESPITE the fact a couple of his music videos were featured on The Disney Channel and he had a couple of songs on Disney movie soundtracks… “Ella Enchanted” where he duets with Anne Hathaway… then one on “A Cinderalla Story”… “Princess Diaries II” and the made-4-TV Disney channel movie “Stuck in the Suburbs”…

oh and two of his songs was in the 2nd Kim Possible movie…

I know this looks bad, but trust me… so much more…

ANYWAY…

the path is never easy… first it was the waiting game… I listened exclusively to Radio Disney for those long 3 years where I didn’t know what was going on in the mainstream music scene… kept waiting to hear about maybe a concert or a song dropping on the radio… the soundtracks kept me occupied, but for a short time…

then when his music came out… I guess I’ll check again 😕

now it’s MID-2012???

man, this better be worth the wait… :shrug: but whatever, wouldn’t be the first time… though I never heard of an album getting pushed back this much 🙄 went back into the studio to work on new material’s all I heard…

I think… let’s see… I heard news of his solo career late 2002… I waited 3 whole years… well, maybe a little less… 2 years… 😕 shoot… for his first album… even less time if the concert giveaway EP helped curb my appetite…

uhhh…. I think it was 2007… yeah…

holy crap, 5 years?
I guess he got a little sidetracked between all those voiceovers he’s been doing… between the Chipmunks franchise (I swear, if there’s a next one and it’s in SPACE… that’s it… sunk that ship… although they already did “Space Buddies” and they’re STILL making those movies… god help me), the Kingdom Hearts franchise and a lot of Tinkerbell animated films (I had seen none of them, but have planned to see at least one, lol)

but still… c’mon, dude…

I guess on the plus side… the time lapse will be so wide that I can easily go in with no expectations… in fact, it might be best if I do what I do with the Giants… I come in with low expectations and I end up being blown away… sounds like a plan…

can’t really forget the fact that with each new album he releases, I’m thinking “I dunno if I like this” or in case of Departure, it was nearly “abandon ship” if not for one or two songs

I think I was expecting “Beautiful Soul” to be as poppy as Dream Street :shrug: cuz that’s where he came from… but when someone from a group goes solo, chances are extremely good they’ll sound nothing like their previous sound cuz they’re calling their own shots now…

instead I got a lot of fast-paced (he was singing so fast on some of these songs that they were helluva difficult to memorize, lol) R&B, blues and soul… more on the bluesy side, I think… so I dunno, not what I was expecting…
after I broke it in a bit, it was my favorite album of the time….. I had very few favorites to contend with… although, that was around the time of Ryan, Ashlee and Lindsay Lohan, with the latter taking over a lot of territory in my story-churning imagination

from album to album, I get the feeling that the previous stuff wasn’t nearly as close to what he’s like as what comes later…
he worked with his crew of Disney channel songwriters… Matthew Gerrard, Andy Dodd and a couple other guys… the songs were, if nothing, commercial and catchy… more or less geared towards his fangirl audience who will almost eat everything up (I know I did)

I don’t remember my exact reaction to “Right where you want me”… whether I loved it right away or not… it took me a little while to get into because I didn’t think it was anything like what he did before…

but when I eventually took the time to sit down and really listen to it… it became the perfect chill out companion… best part… the melodies were at the peak where who he is as an artist really came through…
even better… except for one song, he co-wrote everything… which is a brave move, for sure… and it pays off majorly… especially when I’m constantly reminded of and take comfort in the fact we’re 9 months apart in age… the way he sings about love… I can SO relate in that he uses the exact words I would use… kinda like what Taylor Swift has become to me (she filled that void he left behind with his absence, in a BIG way)

I like that “Right where you want me” had a lot of piano-based tracks… very easy going, bluesy pop… though a little different than Ryan Cabrera… the age difference accounts for most of that…

plus, I know Jesse’s voice range like the back of my hand… I’d spent so much time with the Dream Street album getting all the voices right so I can sing in the same key and vocal range as all five guys… I’d gotten to know his extremely well where I can follow the swells in his voice to where it’s kinda predictable but in a good way… his range is the best I’d heard to that point in my life (now, I think that Prince would probably could beat the pants off everyone else in the industry with HIS range… it’s frickin’ unbelievable)

most notably, with Jesse, there’s nothing I love more than a good high note… I find a lot of beauty in a guy that can sing that high (he was impressive before his voice changed too…)…

and if I were to be asked… how is he different from Justin Bieber…

first of all, Bieber stole his look… not the other way around, thank u very much…

Jesse picks really good lyrics for himself and his songs are actually ABOUT something… certainly not with that bogus repetition Bieber has going for him (chances are his career will end soon cuz his voice is bound to drop sooner or later… then the “magic” will be completely gone)

simply no comparison…

Jesse has more talent, more experience… the only thing he doesn’t have is national recognition… and there is a good chunk of that with Bieber that is resoundingly negative (my blog, whenever I bring him up… case in point)

Jesse’s kinda like my fallback guy in that he never lets me down… it takes a while, but even when there’s something I don’t like, I can readjust, get to know some things better and it helps a great deal…
with me, the name of the game is loyalty… that’s why my YouTube account says VeteranJMacFan… been that for over 10 years now 😉

“Departure”… that scared the hell outta me the first time… I thought he took the plunge into the territory of mainstream music that he was to protect me from… I could listen to him and forget about the chaos & disorder (haha, I know, lol) outside…
instead, it was very Timberlake-ish… and I feared he’d fallen victim to selling out…

plus it kinda unnerved me that his songs seemed to be about letting go of relationships and girls doing him wrong, getting back at them… as if I was to blame for things cuz Prince ruled my world instead of him for maybe… I dunno 5 months, something like that… maybe less

the saving grace came with the last song “Not your enemy”… which was the ultimate of perfect finishing tracks of any album I own… I was ready to give up entirely… but there was this lyric… aw hell, I’d quoted this a million times already…

but it was like telling me to keep listening and taking things and I would understand in time…

compared to his previous stuff… he left his bluesy pop behind and went on to R&B, a little pop and a little hip-hop (one track which I’ll never listen to ever again because it was like DEFCON-5 in my mind, he’d joined the dark side, etc, etc.)

it was a little more current, a little more electronic… but after getting into it, there is a lot of stuff there that can be enjoyed…
after the theme of “How do you sleep” came and waned… there was one song I became kinda obsessed with… it’s called “Relapse”… the bridge has that great upper register I mentioned before… lol… if anyone saw me on my campus singing to this on my CD player, they’d think I was crazy… but I had done that… and was out of breath in doing it, lol… so much fun

but yeah… I can relate to his songs better than anyone else.. or so was the case until the trifecta of women came into my collection… although Katy Perry is kind of an afterthought regarding that…
a great deal of fun and he is definitely THE guy I would wait around for forever when it comes to his music… though I wish I were a bit more involved in his acting career too…
I bit the bullet in watching “All my Children” because of him… though I was a couple years too late. JR had been aged and he was let go from the show, couldn’t reprise the role anymore… I only got to see a handful of flashbacks featuring him, but they were worth it for sure

wasn’t in vain, though… loved watching that show and still kinda miss it, though I don’t think I’d want it back the ending was fine as is… plus, I hate to say it, but I think its better for everyone if JR shot himself when the screen went to black…

:yawn: better wrap this up…

the one thing Jesse has that nobody can take away… any male artist anyway… he’s the closest to my age, so we share a lot of the same thoughts. I was initially taken back by the innenudo in his newer lyrics, but now, I think I might enjoy them a bit more
our level of maturity seems to be on the same learning curve, so I get his stuff as he ages…

but of all the male singers/musicians in my collection,

nobody can top things quite like Prince…

he is one of a kind in that he can do just about anything and has done everything…

I’m a bit spoiled in that he released 40+ albums over his career… I most likely won’t own more of any other artist (last I checked, I think I had about 30-32 of those 40+)… so I can say a lot more about him than anyone else…

there is no limit to what he can do. His songs cover everything from politics to religion… sex… and just about every thing to do with a relationship… wanting in, getting out… why things didn’t work… what’s the matter with him/them because the same thing keeps happening… the list goes on…
not to mention all those instruments he can play…

aside from maybe the rock bands, no other artist I own… okay, maybe John Mayer too… he’s the only one who writes ALL of his material… occasionally he gets input from his band, but that’s another thing entirely

he covers nearly every genre… most likely has, actually… does the regular voice, best falsetto I know… and a good bass voice too…

better yet… just read through my blog starting with April 2007… going forward… and you’ll see just what this guy is all about…

better than just repeating the same old stuff I’d been saying for… phew, it’s been 5 years… now that’s crazy… so much fun too

 

man, I’m fading here… I guess that time at the shorehouse adjusted my internal clock a bit so I’m getting tired earlier… I was gonna watch the 80’s videos, but I really wasn’t in the mood… maybe another time… I thought it was gonna be a leap day tradition…

I was hoping to get to working on my writing… aside from my blogging today… as well as yesterday and the day before… never got in the mood to really write anything… I’m juggling two ideas, but right now I’m gearing towards my vampire story… where it seems that my take on vampirism will be used for revenge rather just escaping a meaningless, depressing life. though I doubt I could show it to anyone who knows me… they’d know exactly what this and that was about… and I’m always uneasy about showing anything with suicidal connotations to it… as if I’ll be judged for being that sick in the head…

nothing’s quite as sick as my plans for revenge through my writing… should be fun and hopefully tomorrow I get into some of it…

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