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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

American Idol: Blues Run the Game Edition (Updated w/ Free Music)

Tonight, we’ve got a special edition of the American Idol coverage. Not only will we be taking cheap shots at the singers and performers on tonight’s show, but there will be a little bit of a surprise for people who come back right after the show. And, yes, the title is a clue--but it probably isn’t what some of you smarties think it is. The surprise will only be there for a few hours, so be sure to check out the site right after Idol is over.

Now, for a very special Blossom...

A Very Special Aside: Could American Idol ever really give back enough to make up for the damage that Sanjaya and William Hung did to the world of pop music?

Chris Richardson mangles Eric Clapton’s “If I Could (Change the World)"--which, sadly, won’t go far in helping those poor families and kids in Africa. He took the soul of the song and buried under a mountain of horrible vocals. He was hideous. The judges all liked it and I really don’t get it; it was off key, it was awkward, it was almost unlistenable--and that isn’t simply because I don’t like the kid’s voice, it’s because he doesn’t sing well.

For the Record Aside: I do like what American Idol is doing tonight. A lot of people have become ridiculously wealthy from this show (and, yes, I wish I was one of them) and using their position to help others is not only good, it is right.

“There Will Come a Day” is a good choice for Melinda Doolittle, who continues to be the most competent of the singers and performers. G-phrase notes: Bad dress, but she is one of the few singers who is actually better than the back-up singers. I agree completely. Truly beautifully done and so much better than what Chris R did that the two don’t even belong on the same stage. No matter what happens on this show, she has a career ahead of her and it’s a bright one.

It’s a little disappointing to hear “Imagine” from Blake Lewis because the song has crossed over a little into cliché. I would consider it an overly safe and overly obvious song choice. Aside from that, though, he sounded about as good singing it as you might imagine. He was one of the few male singers who actually has a pleasant voice--full, very slightly reedy, and quite simply pretty. He’s much more of a singer than I originally thought, and I hope he sticks around for a while longer.

What I don’t understand is how the judges can heap praise on Chris while taking shots at Blake’s performance.

For the past few weeks, Lakisha has looked pretty far over the show. Tonight she seemed far more engaged, although I can’t help but think she’ll suffer in comparison to Fantasia Barrino. Not that Lakisha sounded bad, but because she isn’t nearly the talent that Fantasia is. It was decent, but far from great.

Phil, who still isn’t my personal cup of tea, has done a little bit better after each week. He’ll never be the kind of vocalist whose albums I will run out and buy, but I do think he’s earned his place on the show. You’ll never grab my attention by singing a Garth Brooks song, and, honestly, the arrangement bordered on the boring; but it’s hard to dislike the sentiment and his encouraging us all to be “heroes”.

I like Jordin Sparks, but this wasn’t her night. While her song ended okay, it started rough and she had a problem with the softer notes throughout. Not even close to her best.

Extra Special Merry Christmas Moment For All:

How about something a little musically different? How about something that you find only when skulking about in certain Russian message boards? How about something like the b-side from the Soulsaver’s single, “Revival”?

Glad you asked.

Years and years ago, a guy named Jackson C. Frank recorded a song called “Blues Run the Game.” Welcome to Mark Lanegan and the Soulsaver’s remake. (Link is gone. Song is gone. Sad sad sad.) It isn’t the most dynamic song, but there is something compelling about the thing and I can’t stop listening to it--and Lanegan’s voice is, in this man’s opinion, uncommonly gorgeous.

It won’t be up for long, so get it now--and, if you download the file, I fully expect a thank you. And maybe you could consider buying the album, too.

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