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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.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Danny Gokey CD Review: Is He Back in the Love Column?

Has there ever been an Idol contestant that I have had more of a love/relationship with than Danny Gokey? I don’t think so…

I absolutely adored him from the get-go last year, and then I did a complete 180 and viciously turned against him, even declaring I would do whatever I could to keep him from the finals. And then I met him and he looked into my eyes with that earnest face that you just can’t deny and then took the stage with that gutwrenching performance of “What Hurts the Most.” It was really hard not to like him after that.

But then he went and recorded a country album, and I don’t like country, which should have placed him back in the hate column. So why am I going to Amazon.com as we speak and ordering the CD?

Because I love it. I know I’m in shock too…

The CD gets off to a rousing start with Danny’s current single, “My Best Days Are Ahead of Me.” The fun continues with “Like That’s a Bad Thing.” And then it’s the catchy chorus of “I Still Believe” with the lyrics “Never saw a man walk on water/Never met a man who walked on water/But I still believe. I should have recognized that those catchy lyrics came from the pen of Kara DioGuardi.

Danny doesn’t hit his first ballad until four songs in with “Tiny Life” and it’s beautiful with a gorgeous key change toward the end. The tempo immediately picks up with “Get Away” before coming back down with the original first single from the CD, “It’s Only,” written by the guys from Lady Antebellum. It’s no “Need You Now,” but it’s still good.

The CD falters just slightly with “Life On Ya” because of a weak chorus, but you soon forget that with the best song on the CD, “Crazy Not To,” which has hit written all over it. The lyrics of “My friends say I’m crazy if I do/Aww, but look at you ,look at you, look at you/Oh ,I'd be crazy not to” has music montage written all over it—and I mean that as a compliment.

Danny shows some grit with the hard-charging “Be Somebody” before closing the CD with the song custom-made for Danny, “I Will Not Say Goodbye” with the chorus “I will curse, I will pray, I’ll relive everyday/I will shoulder the blame/I will shout out your name/I will laugh, I will cry, shake my fist at the sky/But I will not say goodbye/
I will not say goodbye.” But even though it may sound like it, the song—written by Lari White, Chuck Cannon and Vicky McGeehee—was not written for Danny as the credits say it was written in 2007. But Danny sings it as if it was.

The biggest problem with the CD is that no matter how good it is—and it is good—it’s not that original. I don’t really hear anything that would separate Danny from the rest of the male country singers on the radio today.

But hopefully, the fine folks at RCA Nashville will find a way to do that and prove me wrong. Because I’m rooting for Danny to succeed…

That’s right gang. He’s back in the love column…for now…

“My Best Days” is available now. Danny will be performing his new single on tomorrow night’s results show…

Photo Credit: Sony Music Nashville