Thursday, March 24, 2011

American Idol Top 11 - Studio Versions

Just like last week, I'll be reviewing the iTunes studio versions of all the Idol's songs. I'm going to listen to them all and run down my opinions as I listen for the first time! (Click on the song titles to download and listen along with me! Or get them all with one click.)

Casey Abrams - I Heard It Through The Grapevine - This is Casey's strongest studio performance yet. He really shines on this one. I could see a rock song in this style doing well on the radio today. Hopefully maybe some day he'll actually be there for the group photo and they won't need to paste his head in.

Haley Reinhart - You've Really Got A Hold On Me - I don't like Haley, but I love her. She has a nice voice and she shows in this recording that she has soul too. It's a shame she doesn't have more fans because I think she could record a great album if she were to win.

Jacob Lusk - You're All I Need To Get By - Jacob manages to turn in a decent studio recording this week, even if the backup singers sound like robots. There's not disputing the fact that Jacob can sing, but I don't think a voice like his would get any radio play in any markets. He might be fun to see live, but I can't picture him being a pop star with songs like this. But I also might be a little biased because I like Kelly Clarkson's version of this song so much better.

James Durbin - Living For The City - I don't remember this song having this much of a rock edge on the show last night (That's not necessarily a good thing). This performance sounds kind of lazy, he didn't hit most of his notes on the show last night, and even on the studio version the vocals are not anything special. I'm hoping to see him improve next week.

Lauren Alaina - You Keep Me Hangin' On - This song is a kiss of death on Idol. Most of the people who sang this song went home that same week. Lauren doesn't really do anything special with it this week, other than being a better singer. One thing that bugs me is the talky "and there aint nothing I can do about it" part is so over processed that it sounds like a robot. Other than that, it's a pretty solid, yet generic, performance.

Naima Adedapo - Dancing In The Street - I always dislike Naima's live performances, but she continues to impress me with her studio versions. I want to say that you need to be able to sing live to be a famous pop star, but sadly that isn't really the case anymore. The arrangement on this song is horrendous with little, I don't know, scat breaks randomly inserted. Naima seems to rely on gimmicks and she needs to cut it out in my opinion, it really makes the songs unlistenable. If it was just her singing I would be okay with this track, but that bugs me.

Paul McDonald - Tracks Of My Tears - This is an awesome track, probably the best of the bunch this week. Paul has an amazingly unique and powerful voice and is the prefect candidate to be the next American Idol. Some people (myself included) thought Adam Lambert fans would be upset that Paul was singing "Adam's song" but you can't really compare the two, they both did amazing with this one.

Pia Toscano - All In Love Is Fair - Pia is flawless. She's gorgeous, and an amazing singer. I will really be surprised if she doesn't win the whole thing (even if I not so secretly want Paul to win). There is not much more to say about Pia, except that maybe she should try singing an upbeat song next week. But then again, if it aint broke, don't fix it.

Scotty McCreery - For One In My Life - If this performance wasn't horrendous enough to begin with, the country night club dance beat isn't helping him. I couldn't even finish it. Moving on.

Stefano Langone - Hello - Some people call this song "untouchable" after David Cook's performance. While it might not be as good as the David Cook version, Stefano hold's his own on with this Performance. He sounds like he is straining at times however. Maybe he's still spooked because of the ghosts in the Idol house.

Thia Megia - (Love Is Like A) Heat Wave - Sounds like a typical uninspired cover song, she didn't do anything special and it sounds like it had a lot of studio work done to it. I think Thia's time on in this competition is almost up.

Do you agree or disagree with my comments? Which was your favorite? Let me know on twitter @Idol360.