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Idol Chit-Chat
This is your place to discuss all things "American Idol." The performances, the judges, the past contestants — it’s all right here.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Adam Lambert Unveils His New Single

Okay, I’m going to admit that I’m a little confused…

This morning, Adam Lambert revealed his new single on Ryan Seacrest’s radio show. And it’s not “Time For Miracles,” the theme song from “2012” that is currently accompanying the movie’s trailers.

It’s “For Your Entertainment,” the title track from his debut CD dropping November 23rd.

So here’s where I’m confused. Why go to all of the trouble to make Adam the centerpiece of a multi-million dollar movie promotional campaign if you’re not going to back the single?

Having heard the song over the latest “2012” trailer playing in theatres now, I can tell you it works very well to sell the movie (much better than the video).

And personally, I think “Miracles” might be a better song.

What do you guys think? And be warned that this video could be taken down at any time by RCA…

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Adam's CD Cover Art UPDATED

Ladies and Gentlemen, hot off the presses this morning is the cover art for "For Your Entertainment," Adam Lambert's debut CD hitting stores November 23rd.





What do you guys think?

UPDATE: Here is what Adam had to say about the CD cover on his Twitter page today:

“Thank you to those who appreciate and understand that the album cover is deliberately campy. It's an homage to the past. It IS ridiculous…For those that don't get it: oh well... Glad to have gotten your attention…androgyny. Rock n Roll.”

Adam also shared some details about the CD:

“Well here's some more album info for you guys! The upcoming single was produced by Dr Luke!!...There is also a song called "Soaked" written by Muse! Also a tune called "Music Again" written by Justin Hawkins of the Darkness!...I also wrote on four songs on the album. "Strut", "Aftermath" "Broken Open" and "Down the Rabbit Hole" (iTunes bonus track)”

Photo Credit: RCA

Friday, October 23, 2009

Are Carrie and David Doing Van Halen for the Holidays?

You’ll remember that last week I told you about Carrie Underwood’s holiday special. Well, the portions with David Cook have already been taped and details are starting to leak…

I hesitate to tell you what all of the details are in case they end up on the cutting room floor, so if you want to check them out for yourself, you can visit MJ’s Big Blog.

I will say that if everything that was taped makes it, it’s going to rock—especially the Carrie-David duet of the Van Halen classic, "Why Can't This Be Love." And an NPH appearance is always a good thing…

I also appreciate the fact that “Lie” is Carrie’s favorite track on David’s CD. It’s mine too and I hope his performance of it does make it on the show so it can be his next single…

The special is scheduled to air December 7th on FOX…

Thursday, October 22, 2009

David Archuleta Christmas CD Review: Beautiful, But...

If there was ever an “Idol” who was meant to record an album of traditional Christmas songs, it’s David Archuleta.

Archie was custom made for it with his angelic voice and cherubic face. And both are on full display with his new Christmas CD, “Christmas From the Heart.”

David brings us “Joy to the World,” “Angels We Have Heard On High,” “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “Silent Night,” “The First Noel,” “O Holy Night,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “What Child Is This” and “Ave Maria.” David also shows us his flair for other languages with the French “Pat-a-pan” and the Latin “Riu Riu Chiu.” Plus, David adds Filipina star Charice Pempengco to “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

The CD concludes with an original that David co-wrote, “Melodies of Christmas,” that was co-produced by his dad and co-manager, Jeff Archuleta.

It’s probably no surprise that the songs all sound gorgeous and have beautiful arrangements. Regardless of whether you’re an Archie fan or not, you have to admit he has a beautiful voice and Christmas carols are a great way to showcase it.

Now here comes the but…

BUT, after about the first three, you start to wish there was something else on here. Yes, the songs are beautiful, but they’re all slow. I completely understand wanting to stay in the traditional direction, and I applaud David/Jeff for wanting to stick with songs with the Christian message, but couldn’t they have thrown in a few bouncier ones? Anyone who owns a Christmas CD from a contemporary Christian artist knows it’s possible to do upbeat without losing the message.

If Simon Cowell were critiquing this album, he would probably say that this album ages David. Granted, he would say it in a much more clever way, but he’d still be right. David is young and should have done a few songs that would show that exuberance off a little more. Maybe a cover of Ray Parker Jr.’s “Christmas Time Is Here” or even the more traditional “Go Tell It On the Mountain.”

And I was more than a little disappointed that he didn’t do “The Little Drummer Boy.” I know he did the French version, but that’s not the same.

And is anyone else shocked that he didn’t tackle “Mary Did You Know?” Maybe he realized that he couldn’t possibly outdo Clay Aiken on that one. Or Donny Osmond for that matter (Yeah, that’s right. I said it.)…

The one chance David has to break away, “Melodies of Christmas,” falls flat because it comes off overly produced. It’s a clever track that should still get some play this season, but I think it could have been done a little better.

All of that having been said, “Heart” is still solid. It’s just not a CD that you’ll be playing during your more festive holiday parties this year. Save the Elliott Yamin or Kimberley Locke CDs for those…

“Christmas From the Heart” is available now…

Photo Credit: Jive Records

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"Time for Miracles" Video: Adam Takes Center Stage

If you haven’t had the chance to check out Adam Lamberts’ “Time for Miracles” video, be sure to check it out here.

I know the Adam fans will get mad at me for saying this, but I’m a little disappointed. Not in him, just the video.

I think it’s a little strangely edited in places, which robs the video of any flow. And the song is about not giving up on love, but the only reference in the video we see to love is at the song’s most dramatic point, when we should be seeing something else. And the couple we see during that sequence was never shown previously in the video so we can’t be excited that they’re together in the end.

And where in the world is John Cusack?

It’s clear that Adam is the selling point here. I just thought they’d try a little harder to sell the movie.

What do you guys think?


Time For Miracles

Adam Lambert | MySpace Video

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ryan Star Helps the Unemployed "Breathe"

From time to time I like to update you on David Cook’s tourmate, Ryan Star. And when you do something this special, it deserves to be told…

Ryan’s new music video, “Breathe” will debut tomorrow on CNN.com and on CNN during the 2 p.m. newscast. The video features Ryan performing on the streets of New York with actual unemployed people. A special website http://www.breathe4jobs.com/ will allow employers to contact the people in the video.

In a press release, Ryan said, “I wanted to do something more important than just another typical video. I wanted a video that was relevant and can make a difference in the real world. Our world. So when I started thinking of how to represent ‘Breathe,’ this idea made sense because unemployment is the common thread that I have been seeing everywhere I have been touring. It just feels to me that people everywhere need to hear a positive message, that things will all be ok and that we are here for one another.”

“Breathe” is available on digital music outlets now. Ryan’s album, “11:59,” is scheduled to be released early next year…

Photo Credit: Atlantic Records

Allison's CD Cover

My hero Slezak at EW.com has the first look at the cover to Allison Iraheta’s CD, “Just Like You,” which drops December 1st.

You can see it here. It’s pretty cool…

Adam Lambert Video Hits Tomorrow

So for those of us looking forward to the Adam Lambert “Time For Miracles” video with lots of epic movie clips the wait is almost over…

Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment announced today that the video will debut exclusively on MySpace Music beginning at midnight Wednesday.

The song is available on iTunes now and will be included on Adam’s album, “For Your Entertainment,” which hits stores November 23rd.

To see the video, go to www.myspace.com/music.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Jason Castro's Release Date Moved

See, this is why I added that caveat about release dates changing…

I have just been informed that Jason Castro’s debut CD will now be released January 26, 2010.

So please mark your calendars accordingly…

In the meantime, you can enjoy Jason’s first single, “Let’s Just Fall In Love Again.” But be warned, it’s SUPER catchy…

Adam Tweets His Album Title

Adam Lambert tweeted about an hour ago that his album will be called “For Your Entertainment.” Nice…

No album cover photo has been released yet, but I’ll be sure to get it to you when it is.

Also, Adam tweeted that he will be on the cover of November’s “Details” magazine and he says the photo shoot “got pretty racy- you all are in for a surprise.”

Hmmm…

“For Your Entertainment” is scheduled to be released November 23rd…

Photo Credit: Frank Micelotta/FOX

Kris Allen's CD Cover Revealed!

My friends at 19 Entertainment sent me over this picture of the Kris Allen CD cover.

I, of course, love it.

What do you guys think?


Photo Credit: 19 Entertainment

Kris Allen Rocks Britney?

Kris Allen was in the Cincinnati area last week as he performed a special concert at Seton High School after the school raised $5000 for breast cancer research.

He treated the screaming 540 female students (It’s an all-girls school.) to a taste of this cool cover. Take a listen if you can handle all the screaming…

Adam's "Miracles" Hits the Web

The entire version of Adam Lambert’s “Time for Miracles” has hit YouTube, accompanying a video of the Kentucky Derby of all things…

It’s a sweeping dramatic ballad, which is perfect for Adam’s voice. But it just makes me wish someone would’ve given his version of “No Boundaries” a real listen (I know. I need to get over that.)…

I feel quite certain a video with lots of movie footage is being put together right now.

Now who’s ready to join me in a campaign to get the song an Oscar nod so Adam can perform during the ceremony?

You can hear the song here…

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Carrie To Hit TV For the Holidays

Carrie Underwood is returning to FOX for a holiday special…

“Carrie Underwood: An All-Star Holiday Special” (working title) will be produced by Nigel Lythgoe and Adam Shankman.

I’m worried already…

According to the press release, Carrie will sing previous hits, holiday classics and songs from her new album. But “The Hollywood Reporter” adds that she will “participate in comedy bits.”

Now I’m really worried…

Joining her for the special are Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton and David Cook.

Now I feel a little better…

Additional guests will be announced at a later date, but I would be stunned if we didn’t see more people from 19 Entertainment (Kris or Adam, maybe?).

Some heavy hitters will be working with Carrie behind the scenes as well. According to the “Reporter,” “Seinfeld” alumna Carol Leifer, former “Frasier” exec producer Jeffrey Richman and actor/writer Seth Morris are writing the comedy sketches…

The two-hour special is scheduled to air December 7th at 8 p.m.…

Photo Credit: Matthew Rolston/Sony Music Nashville

Monday, October 12, 2009

Get Ready for the "Idol" CD Onslaught

The onslaught is about to begin…

I had promised you a few months ago that an onslaught of “Idol” related releases was coming this fall. Well, some titles have been pushed back, but others have moved in to take their place.

So here’s a rundown of what’s coming out when with the caveat that release dates are always subject to change…

October 13th
David Archuleta, “Christmas From the Heart”
*I hope to have a review of this one later this week.

November 3rd
Carrie Underwood, “Play On”

November 10th
“2012” Soundtrack
*The movie’s theme song, “Time for Miracles,” is performed by Adam Lambert.

November 17th
Kris Allen, TBA
Jason Castro, “Jason Castro”

November 24th
Adam Lambert, TBA
“A Very Special Christmas Volume 7”
*This Christmas CD, which benefits the Special Olympics, features tracks from Carrie Underwood and Kellie Pickler.

December 1st
Allison Iraheta, TBA

January 5th
Katharine McPhee, “Unbroken”

Bucky Covington’s second CD has been moved to the spring.

By the way, the release date for “11:59,” by Ryan Star, David Cook’s tour mate, has now been bumped to December 29th…

Photo Credits: Arista Nashville and Amazon.com

Adam Lambert Looks to "2012"

Adam Lambert has recorded the theme song for the upcoming movie, “2012.”

The song is called, “Time For Miracles,” and you can get a VERY brief taste of it here.

No word on whether the song will be released as a single and if so, if it will be the first single from Adam’s album, which is scheduled to hit stores November 24th…

“2012” hits theatres November 13th…



UPDATE: Just in case the video isn't working, here's the link.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Blake Lewis CD Review: His Music His Way

When I talked to Blake Lewis a couple of weeks ago, he described his new CD, “Heartbreak on Vinyl,” as a dance record with a touch of 80s nostalgia.

I couldn’t agree more as the first time I heard it, I thought it sounded like updated Erasure. And since I adore Erasure, I adore “Heartbreak”…

The album kicks off with the beyond catchy title track that not only begins Blake’s ode to his lost love, it also laments the loss of his beloved record stores. You can’t listen to this song without getting it stuck in your head.

But the catchiness doesn’t end there as Blake goes full throttle through nine more tracks that are guaranteed to get you up dancing. “Binary Love” and “Freak” are upbeat numbers, while “Sad Song” beautifully combines melancholy lyrics with a great beat, a la Information Society. “Rhythm of My Heart” completely changes up the tempo as Blake adds a seductive edge over his beatboxing. “Afraid” picks things up again with a pounding beat.

“Left My Baby For You” tells the story of Blake choosing his career over his girlfriend and then going back to tell her he was wrong. I have to say that it’s probably my least favorite song on the CD because it just throws in too many elements. But it still has an amazing beat.

“Rebel Without a Cause” is the tale of Blake realizing his mistakes and it features some truly gorgeous moments. And of course, there is a musical interlude breakdown, “Superscratchavocalisticturntablelicious.” But I have to say it’s a little too short. I always like hearing Blake showcase his beatboxing talents.

“Our Rapture of Love” is just as seductive as the title suggests. It reminds me of Erasure, Kon Kan and When In Rome thrown together. And I mean that as a HUGE compliment. This song has real single potential.

Things finally slow down with “The Point.” And when Blake hits those opening strains, you almost want to cry for him, because you’ve been on this journey with him through the CD and you can see it coming to a heartbreaking end. Blake never gets enough credit for his vocals and this one shows off his voice well.

Things pick back up with “The Remedy,” which is impossible to listen to without at least bobbing your head. Then Blake closes the CD with “Love or Torture (Please Don’t Stop)” with the uber-catchy chorus of “Please don’t stop/I want a taste of what you got/I wanna know what gets you hot/So baby please don’t stop.” And when this song reaches its end, you’ll wish that Blake hadn’t stopped and you’ll immediately go back to track one and start again.

Probably the thing that stands out the most about “Heartbreak” is that it is a continuous story, which leads to a more cohesive album as opposed to a collection of singles. That’s a good thing, but it can also make some of the songs run together. But when they’re this fun, I’m not sure that matters.

I would also actually prefer there were more single possibilities because I believe Blake deserves a great deal of success. But since he is finally making his music his way, maybe that doesn’t matter either.

What does matter is that “Heartbreak” is a good CD that will take you back to those electronica filled days of the past—or take you there for the first time. And trust me, they’re a great place to go…

“Heartbreak on Vinyl” is available in stores and online Tuesday, October 6th…

Photo Credit: Tommy Boy Records

Allison Iraheta's New Single

Allison Iraheta officially released her first single on AOL today. It’s called “Friday I’ll Be Over U”…

You can hear it here.

It goes to radio tomorrow and will be available on iTunes Tuesday, October 20th. The song comes from Max Martin, who is best known for Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” and “My Life Would Suck Without You.”

And it’s clear that the Kelly Clarkson route is the way Jive/19 intends to take Allison, which kind of surprises me. I don’t know why, it just does…

According to Jive, Allison’s album will hit stores December 1st. Among the heavy hitters she’s working with are Martin, Howard Benson (Daughtry) and Kevin Rudolf…




Photo Credit: Jive Records