Thursday, June 10, 2010

What we're listening to: American Idol Season 9

This CD features major highlights from this past season of American Idol and is worth a listen. Season 9 winner and Illinois native Lee DeWyze's gritty-rock cover of "Treat Her Like a Lady" kicks off the album. His performance of this song during R&B week was one of my favorite performances all season long because of how he changed the song to fit his own style. Andrew Garcia's cover of "Forever" sounds closer to Chris Brown's single version; Andrew performed an acoustic, stripped down version of the song on the show, which is why I loved that version so much. Because I really enjoy the smooth soulful sound of his voice I like the studio version too. Siobhan Magnus' voice is absolutely gorgeous on "Paint it Black" from the Rolling Stones; she starts the song in her lower register and then starts to really rock out, eventually hitting one of the huge notes she became known for on the show. Crystal Bowersox takes control of Janis Joplin's "Me and Bobby McGee," singing a bunch of fun and playful riffs. I think Casey James' best performance on the show was his cover of John Lennon's "Jealous Guy," and the studio version is just as good. Michael Lynche proved to be a versatile performer on the stage, singing both pop and R&B and playing guitar. I love his version of India.Arie's "Ready for Love," which he performed on acoustic guitar during R&B week. I wish the song included from Aaron Kelly was "Angie" or "You've Got a Way" by Shania Twain instead of Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing." During Rolling Stones week Aaron totally won me over with his tender interpretation of "Angie," so I am disappointed his version is not included on the Season 9 compilation. Ignoring the fact that "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" is a song that's been covered by several previous Idol contestants, I just can't stand the song after hearing it on the radio endlessly during the summer of 1998 when the movie Armageddon was out in theaters. Curiously, the entry from Tim Urban is "Under My Thumb." His laid-back reggae version of this song didn't go over well on the show, but I do find myself liking his version a bit more on the CD. I don't think the judges gave Didi Benami enough credit after her performances. Listening to her do "Play with Fire," you would think the song was hers and not the Rolling Stones'. I like the tone of her voice and how she emotionally connects to the lyrics in the stripped down arrangement. Katie Stevens closes the album with her version of "Let it Be," which was one of her better performances during the season.
Find it in the catalog!

The Top 10 contestants from season 9 will perform at the United Center on Monday, August 30!