A double “Idol” alum album review

I got around to Casey Abrams’ debut yesterday and was blown away… in fact, I started to hyperventilate a little bit by the third song because I freaking out that at some point, I was gonna be let down… like things couldn’t be this good for the entirity…
unfounded fear, of course, but I’d experienced it far too many times to get too comfortable…
and just because every other thought in my head is a curse-word, doesn’t mean I should say it…
but I really hate that my default position is panic with a lot of things…

one of those things being my own goddam life…
it’s really strange that I have this mental breakdowns… this one not nearly as bad as others I’d gone through… when my folks are away and its my sister & I at the house… I look forward to the time they’re gone because its less pressure on me… but without, I dunno, maybe its that foundation thing that family’s supposed to give you… without that at my back, I feel like a twig about to snap… unlike when they’re around and the potential nagging has me bending, but not close to breaking

lots of things have happened since my last entry… one of them was listening through Season 11 hits album…
which was GREAT… don’t get me wrong… but there were a few little things that kinda prompted me towards that mental cliff hanging over hopelessness…
Joshua sounded AMAZING, and had me wondering “why the hell didn’t he win?” but it seemed on record he was up to the hype of the judges… maybe if they didn’t stand up so much he would have had a shot…
Jessica, also… I’m so sick of that Whitney Houston song, but each time I hear it, I’m a little closer to becoming a blubbering mess, which never happened with that song before that…
both of them could have won…

Phillip actually sounded pretty good on “Volcano”… cuz the song is so his vibe and I guess not seeing him actually performing took pressure off a bit… he doesn’t sound nearly as bad without the visaul going on… and the off-key thing doesn’t bother me as much
(although to be fair, I am SICK of his single, which they used for the Women’s gymanstic team… I wonder if “Idol” did that on purpose… wrote that song just so it could be used for the Olympics?)

it was 3 somber songs in a row… so I was feeling more than mellow…
luckily they weren’t going in order…

Skylar was up with her Miranda Lambert cover… man, I miss Skylar… can’t wait for her album to come out…
followed by Deandre (ugh!!!) with “master blaster” (why the hell was that the song he got? then again, he didn’t have many highlights… plus the Eric Benet song would have been one somber song too many)… I’d have preferred an album without Deandre at all, that was my feel…

then there was Erika Van Pelt who did “New York state of mind” by Billy Joel… I didn’t even recognize her at first… in fact I thought she sounded like a man… rather, prepubscent boy… well, she sounded more like Heejun than a full-grown woman… so it was strange…
good cover, though… back to somber…

and of course Hollie doing Celine Dion was a tad emotional… again back to that… but just wow…

Elise was rocking it with “Whole Lotta Love”… her vocals were a little grating sometimes, which was strange :shrug: I loved her voice when she was in the show… then she did this high scream that I was like “whoa, where did THAT come from?” it was insane…
I’d still look for an album, though, cuz there aren’t many artists like her out there right now
the closest would probably be Orianthi and she’s not exactly a huge name… at least not in the states
Pink would be a modern version of the rocker chick, but she has her own brand too

Heejun had the last song, which was his best performance on the show since the auditions… but honestly, I would have turned the CD off because I practically switched off… like I literally stopped paying attention after listening to nearly 5:30 of Colton

I think they were trying to mix up the theme weeks and stuff… but why couldn’t they have given… unless he picked this song in particular to do… I would have preferred “Piano Man” or even “Love the way you lie”… there were so many good ones…
but it isn’t so much as the song as the way it was handled…

he did “Everything” by Lifehouse… which I have gotten more than used to in the show’s capacity… i.e. it’s only 90 songs and it picks up really quickly…

he was stuck in his lower register for a good 2-3 minutes before the song really picked up tempo… I kept waiting and waiting… then when he finally got to the chorus and the higher vocals… he only sang through it maybe once and just as it was getting good, it started to end…
its consolation for me that he probably got one of the longest songs on the album… I literally absorbed every single second of that song and… yeah, I was disappointed…

Colton’s strength and his character shine the most in his higher register, that’s what set him apart for me… as a vocalist…
so the wait begins for his solo album 😉

one way or the other, I’ma gonna get it… I don’t care if I have to order it online and I need hath no shame about asking with assistence with the ordering process…
people at least get my thing for Colton… meanwhile with everyone else, its somewhat embarassing… because its like… well, if you weren’t so crazy about this person, you wouldn’t be doing this in the first place… as if ordering through the Internet is an unhearable of thing…

here’s a bit of redemption, though…
unless I’m REALLY bored this weekend, I will most likely pass on “Iron-Man” this week… cuz I’ve got something else coming up and I don’t want to mix around energies and stuff (kinda like I was afraid to watch any of his work before Sherlock 2 came on DVD… that way I don’t fall back in love with him and have things go the other way… I know, I’m done with that… geesh… )

my prayer has finally be answered…
“The Singing Detective” is gonna air on Showtime next week…

at 3 in the morning but still… it is gonna AIR… I’m gonna FINALLY get to see that movie…
I’ll always be on the lookout for Game 6 & Good Night and Good Luck to air on cable… for the hell of it, but that’s officially the last movie of his on my “watch list”…

and as I was saying last night, it’s a helluva movie to end things on…
in the words of Brit personality, Frank Skinner: it’s got violence, it’s got sex, it’s got skin disease

:falloff:

I can’t remember how Robert referred to it… something about religious methodology or symbology…
basic premise, its about this writer who’s bed-ridden with psorasis, in a hospital, making everyone around him miserable… and while they’re trying to help him, he escapes his painful situation into this detective novel he wrote…
and over time… as he spends more time with this other doctor, played by an unrecognizable Mel Gibson, the two worlds start to bleed together and he’s able to make peace with his situation

between Charlie Rose and Frank Skinner, I have heard Robert promote and sell this movie so many times that I know exactly what its supposed to be about… and I haven’t even seen it yet

I swear I had this moment of clairvoyence last night where I almost heard him say to me “You’re a little brown noser, aren’t you?”

my god, what I have become? I can sell his movies almost as well as he can… I could almost do that for a living… assuming he wants to spend more time with Susan and little Exton, I could go for him… nah, that’s ludricious… and besides, the people want to see HIM talk about his movies… not some snotty little “intern”… or whatever the hell that would be…

but it’s seriously come to that where I’m so good at explaining his movies… too bad I don’t do that for everyone else, then I’d really have something going on…

btw, didn’t get around to mentioning this… two of the Bourne movies put me over the top… I just hit the benchmark of 900 movies that I have seen… on that long list I’d had going, my god…
and it’s because of him I’d seen a bunch of these movies… between him being in them, to actors he’d worked with being in them, to the most outrageous…
while promoting “A Scanner Darkly,” he explained it as being based on a Phillip K. Dick novel… because of that, I had seen a lot of this guy’s movie adaptations… too bad he isn’t alive to see the success, but my god… this dude was really ahead of his time…

both Blade Runner and The Adjustment Bureau give interesting alternatives of our future…
Minority Report and Total Recall (both the original and the remake) are on my radar for similiar reasons…
A Scanner Darkly is the only one I don’t think I’d like to see come true because it’s heavy-duty survillence and everyone is struggling with this drug of unknown origin called Substance D… things are so negative with that drug that there are people who are addicted to it and there are the people who haven’t tried it yet… translation: if you get addicted to the stuff, you can never recover from it…

whats even scarier… Keanu’s character is a secret agent who is helping this agency find the dealers of the drug, gets addicted and by the end of the movie, he gets segregrated to another place full of “recovering” addicts… but its almost like a govt conspiracy… as if they want the people to get addicted so they can control them and only a perfect world remains… with a very small population, if there’s any at all…

oh yeah, I’ve gone really far down the rabbit hole… I doubt the links in the chain that start from Downey will go as far as the Phillip K. Dick connection

then again, I’ve always kinda found the alternate futures of sci-fi interesting…
got into The Hunger Games
The Giver is one of my favorite books (in a very tight race with The Catcher in the Rye on my favorites list)

I guess that means I finally figured out the difference between sci-fi and fantasy…

fantasy is what I dabble in… with the mythical creatures and magic… or at least I did dabble in it…

sci-fi takes place in either the distant past or future… alternate versions of the world we know now, whether they’re utopias, dystopias or stuff like Star Wars or Star Trek…
the latter is sci-fi/fantasy because there’re mythical creatures and magic there too, moreso in Star Wars… I dont know nearly as much about Star Trek so I can’t really vouch for that…

I don’t think I’m nearly clever enough to do something in the sci-fic genre because a lot of the stuff I could imagine has already been done by somebody else… I’d have to have a really out there dream that’s so lucid and vivid that I can decipher from it

while I still have time, I’m gonna go through Crystal Bowersox’s album… so I can at least do a legit review of it in this entry…
I was thinking how Casey’s album is very jazz club-y… and they kinda have their similarities…
although with Crystal’s, her stuff is more folky, but once or twice, I think I remember making the connection to Vonda Shephard, the lounge singer/pianist from “Ally McBeal”

while I was thinking about it, I made sure to back up my Word.doc on the movie list 😎 just in case, don’t want to lose all that after working to put it together, lol

got my bullet points down from listening through the two albums… will do one at a time… I’ll see how far I can go tonight… had maybe 3 drinks at happy hour and there were already 2 moments tonight where I was ready to rush to the bathroom to just puke my guts out…
definitely don’t want it to come to that… I’d rather have a monster headache tomorrow than seemingly endless vomiting…
not something my OCD tendancies would agree with…

my overall view on the two albums is that I will go to Casey’s album anytime… with Crystal, it’ll be an occasional thing because her stuff is more somber… maybe a little more grounded, certainly more homely, but kinda depressing

Gonna go through Crystal’s first.

there were a lot of country-esque tracks, some were a mix of folk and country and a bunch had me thinking about the Ally McBeal setting with the lounge singers and such…

that was pretty much how I described “Ridin’ with the radio”…
very uptempo, which is good because there aren’t as many on this album…
I kept thinking about this country song based on the title… I have a sinking feeling its a Reba track… “radio” was definitely one of the words in the title

“For what it’s worth” was definitely a cover 😉
I recognize it as a song I heard in the film “Tropic Thunder”…
it’s kind of a refreshing new modern version of it… definitely a nice new take on it, but for the most part, it was about the same… I called it a “welcome change” from the original, even though not a whole lot changed except for its overall vibe

“Farmer’s Daughter” the title track… I found it to be a little sad in places because it was like a goodbye saying… pretty much about escaping the life she knew and saying how she’s not just part of her family anymore, she’s her own person… It really felt like something that’d be at home in “Ally McBeal” cuz it fit into that whole loungy bar setting in the series

“Holy Toledo” I noted for having pretty strong vocals… at times its a toss up between country and rock… but there was an intriguing bit of repetiton where she was singing about how you got to heaven from there

I definitely saw a growing trend in the album… about escaping an ordinary life and making your own way through things

Then we get to back to the uptempo with “Lonely”… except its not melancholy, its about not being lonely as long as you had this love with you… it went on to talk about the giddyness of being in love for the first time… or rather the early stages of being in love… among my favorites

“Hold on,” after thinking about it for a bit, was kinda sad… it’s about being in love with a person that you thought you’d be with forever… then when you talk about running away together, he leaves you hanging… another reoccuring theme…
the title refers to holding on to memories because you need something to hold onto after being let down so you can move on…

we got back to the “folky country” bit for the next track, “On the run”… another uptempo track where there’s talk about leaving your hometown so you can have fun… it’s probably the most fun track on the album, but then we have the next song

“Kiss ya” stays within the same genre and even the organ gets a voice here… it was kinda fun hearing her being flirtatous in this particular track, unfamiliar territory in this album

“Speak now” is probably the best song on the album… because its just so powerful… it has a real loungy feel to it… pretty much saying that if “you think you’re gonna miss me when I go, speak now”…  there’s more talk about leaving town and not wanting any roots to be laid down… its one of the longer tracks, but wow… I was really impressed with it… in fact I said it would have been great for Ally McBeal, no matter what capacity they used it for

“Mine all mine”… got a little too sweet at times, lol… which is a rarity, I can take a lot of sweetness most of the time when it comes to music…naturally I giggled when she was saying not to buy her diamonds or pearls (tee-hee)… the only she needs is his love and everything is just secondary

“Mason” is a nice little country duet… although its a little too repetitive for my tastes… the first minute or so is repeating the same couple of lines… I believe this is the name of her son, but in the context of the track, it refers to the profession cuz she talks about building her life with this other man… the harmonies were definitely amazing, I’ll say that much for it

with the last track “Arlene”… I didn’t quite get what it was about… pretty much giving this girl advice about not letting anyone bring her down… I’d say its a country track but a bit slower than the usual

[waves of nausea are still coming and going… most likely after I get thru the next album review, I’m just gonna crawl into bed and collapse… hopefully]

I’d say both albums are two sides of the same coin, but there are still distinct differences between the two…

Casey is more jazz and Crystal is more country

“Simple Life” almost guranatees a great start into the album… with the stand-up bass playing, i was immediately reminded of that song “Fever” that I believe he did on the show one time…
its pretty much about getting away from technology and commercialism so you can enjoy the life thats out there waiting…
there’s a lot of details in the lyrics, but there’s such a great rhythm that they might be easily to remember than you might think…
plus there’s some nice scatting in this song that, man, I don’t think anyone these days even does that anymore…
yeah, almost immediately, it gets me smiling and I wanna melt like butter

In “Ghosts,” he’s telling a girl that he knows who he is when he’s with her… even though a lot of other things around him have changed… another song that makes me smile cuz its kinda sweet… there’re nice back-up vocals in the chorus… if I were to describe the feel and vibe of it, I’d compare it to a jugband…

“Get out” is about an unrequited love he wants to forget… it’s a little different from the rest in that its more of a pop song than the rest are… I could almost see it as a single because its about as catchy as a song a boy band would put on the radio… this is only the second time I’m listening through the album and it has me singing along… but later on, it got me feeling a little sad cuz its about getting over an unrequited love… a feeling I know a little too well

“Great bright morning”… I figure is about chilling with a good friend (potentially more) without a care in the world, leaving it behind… so far its the first slow song on the record… kinda reminded me of Maroon 5’s “sunday morning” but without the coming and going part…

“Blame it on me”… we’re back to the jazzy genre… almost in a “Wall of Berlin” sort of way… the “it’ being falling in love with him accidentallly… supposedly a friendship that unexpectedly led to more things… there’s also a nice sense of humor here

“Wore out my soul”… slow-paced jazz, but immediately after hearing the chorus the first time, it reminded me of Alica Keys’ song “If I ain’t got you”… pretty much about a relationship thats in free fall that he thought was gonna last forever… again we’re back to the loungy feel 😎

in “Stuck in London” he’s lamenting about a lost love and keeping her in mind keeps his spirits up while he’s stuck in this locale… I find the chorus a little cheesy at times so it likely won’t be one of my favorites… then there’s this flute thrown into the background that just seems, put there for no apparent reason… doesn’t have a real purpose… not that its super distracting

“Midnight girl”… I’m still kinda figuring out what its about… seems to be about having a late night conversation with someone… a sweet little song that’s most vocals and a strumming guitar

“A boy can dream” I can see becoming one of my favorites on the record…
the chorus has a nice, odd rhythm… it kinda feels like the kind of song John Mayer would do… it takes place on new year’s eve, daydreaming about being in bed with a girl, listening to Marving Gaye and enjoying each other’s company…. great, chill-out track

“Dry spell” has a jazz clubby feel to it… kinda like that song “$” on Prince’s Lotusflow3r record… its about him trying to woo a new woman in his life, since its been a while for him… after having a lot of slower paced songs, this one breaks the pattern by being very exciting and invigorating… another HUGE favorite of mine

after this, we get to a bunch of cover songs…

“hit the road jack” features Haley Reinhart in a duet… a jazzier cover of the original complete with the stand-up bass… the duet is a great one, but I just find this song a little too repetitive for my tastes…

“Eleanor Rigby”… probably my favorite of the covers, which isnt saying a whle lot…
It reminds me a bit of some of Maroon 5’s material in the slower paced category… Casey gets to show off the grit in his voice in places… it gets repetitive, but its quite a bit shorter than the previous track…

then we have CCR’s “Have you ever seen the rain?”
which was kinda strange the first time around… I figured I’d fall in love with this cover and Phillip jumped to mind… maybe cuz this was one of two songs he did during the entire finale of the show last season… and I think I was even expecting his vocals here instead of Casey’s…
Its a decent cover, but I didnt like it so much as an ending track… it felt like there was a lot left to be said

yeah, between the two, I think I still prefer Casey’s album… the subject matter is a bit more positive, lol…

Crystal’s album is homely, country and fits in a nice loungy place…

Casey’s has a bit more variety, but I just feel more at home with it… in fact I can almost see it becoming an all-time favorite that I’ll be listening to years from now and still loving…

so I should probably quit while I’m ahead… certainly wouldn’t want to listen to it a while from now and not feeling it the same way I do  now in the early stages…

yeah, I’m thinking tomorrow morning is gonna be interesting… I’m hoping I don’t have a monster hangover, but itd be better than the alternative…

even if there have been times lately where I have felt depressed, I don’t think I’d want to drink myself into a stupor… nothing serious for the moment, but my stomach isnt liking this a whole lot…

I’m guessing I’m not too far gone if I can still type as fluently as I usually do

 

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