American Idol Season 8 - Various

2009-09-11 16:16
American Idol Season 8
What can you expect to hear on this compilation? There's a song each from the 8 of the top 10 plus 2 songs each from winner Kris Allen and runner-up Adam Lambert. They're all cover songs (except for the coronation song) that the contestants performed on the show. The unfortunate thing about singing a cover is that if it's not better than the original, people aren't going to want to listen to you sing it again. This is true for the covers by Lil Rounds, Scott McIntyre and Michael Sarver. The rest are pretty good and worth listening to.

Lambert, the most exciting contestant Idol has seen possibly in its entire eight years, covers "Mad World" by Tears for Fears. Lambert's take on this song earned him a standing ovation from "mean" judge Simon Cowell. I think it's the best song on the CD but I'm an unashamed "Glambert" (hardcore Adam Lambert fan) so take a listen for yourself and decide. It may also be worth checking his other performances on YouTube to see what all the fuss is about.

So what happens when a man sings a female disco number? If that guy is Kris Allen - you can expect great things. Allen's version of "She Works Hard For the Money" (originally by Donna Summer) is pure genius. The arrangement is completely different from the original but it sounds fresh and current. Also, it's one of the only up-tempo songs on the album so it stands out from all the ballads.

Much as it pains me, I have to say a thing or two about the coronation song "No Boundaries", written by Kara DioGuardi and two other people. It took three people to come up with a song with cheesy lyrics like "you can go higher/you can go deeper/there are no boundaries above and beneath you".

So whose version is better, Lambert's Or Allen's? I'd go with Lambert (see above for why) but it still doesn't make me like the song more. Why did the producers find it necessary to have both versions of the song on the album? I would have preferred hearing Lambert's cover of "Whole Lotta Love" in addition to "Mad World". Have a listen here.

This season's female rocker Allison Iraheta, who finished fourth, is way beyond her years. This teen definitely has the talent to make it big given the right songs. Listen to her sing "I Can't Make You Love Me" and you'd be forgiven for thinking she is much older than 17.

For some of these people, this is the only album they'll ever appear on, but some do have the potential to become really good recording artists. I wouldn't mind buying a Matt Giraud album some time in the near future.

In a few years, we'll barely remember some of the people in this group of 10. I'm not being harsh; it just happens to be the way the Idol machine operates. I've no doubt though that at least three of them are going to make it big.

*For the first time in the show's eight years, 19 Entertainment has signed the entire top four. Danny Gokey, a season favourite and third place, was the last to be signed. Allen, Lambert and Ireheta's debut albums are expected in November. No date has been announced for Gokey's debut record.

America's favourite karaoke show, American Idol, will be back in January 2010 (South Africans will most likely start watching in April). To keep hardcore fans entertained until then, the powers that be have released an album featuring the Top 10 finalists.

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Adele 2009/09/15 8:02 AM
I agree absolutely with your assessment of the album and the contestants. And that winning song is a total lemon. Can't wait for that Adam Lambert album.
Lost 2009/09/18 10:44 AM
I still can't understand how Adam did not win.
DaughtryFan 2009/09/18 11:06 AM
They should have included Kris' rendition of Heartless...that performance won it for him!
Lynni 2009/09/18 11:15 AM
Sorry it is South Africa's favourite karaoke show. Anyone who watch American Idol know that their contestants should make songs their own. (That is why their Idols make a success with their career).
TS 2009/09/18 11:27 AM
Adam should have won. This show is still leaps and bounds ahead of SA's version.
Nabilah 2009/09/18 12:50 PM
nice article.can't wait for Adam's cd to be released!
Glambert 2009/09/18 1:45 PM
I don't follow idols - its too bubblegum pop for me - heard a DJ talking on the radio 'bout Adam singing Led Zeppelin - went to watch him stuff it up on YOUTUBE - thought I was in for a laugh... Adam blew me away I could not believe what I was hearing, became an instant Glambert - cannot wait for his album - I love his voice and the fact that MY ADAM is drop dead gorgeous it a plus too. p.s I am glad Adam did not win - can you imagine that rock voice being forced to sing bubblegum pop - not winning is the best thing that could have happend, mark my words in a years time Adam Lambert will be HUGE and everyone else will be saying Kris, Kris who? - no offense.
Brandon 2009/09/18 2:33 PM
hELL I NEED A DRINK... errr, as for Lambert. The man will prove to be the genius of our time. I have never seen anyone offer renditions of songs like that. . . period.
Hontycat 2009/09/18 3:01 PM
Adam all the way.....!! Absolutely in agreement that Im glad he didnt win Idols even though he was the best by far. Winning idols would have tied him down to only doing their music their way...they would have killed who and what Adam Lambert is. He can now do his own album, his own way and its gonna rock. Cant wait for it to come out. Actually have been twice into our Durbs music shops trying to find this pop idols cd...but ja well no true SA form...its nowhere to be found!! I will be buying it just to hear Adam singing and to tide me over until his album comes out. The boy rocks!!
Peter 2009/09/18 10:16 PM
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I am 52 yrs old and I must admit Adam Lambert rocks. Gosh that kid is a genius.
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