Tuesday, April 29, 2008
5 Alive...Yes, I am that old.
Neil Diamond, huh? He wrote the soundtrack of my childhood. I don't know a lot of his songs, but those I do know remind me of slumber parties and family vacations and talent shows. It will be intersting to see how many of these kids are able to make something new and interesting out of these golden oldies.
I didn't watch AI live tonight...we were getting haircuts and then working on home improvement projects, so I watched the clips on YouTube just now. Therefore, I have no idea what order these songs came in. Actually, I saw the last 3 songs live, but the rest were on Memorex...err...YouTube. Does Neil Diamond night make anyone else feel the arthur-itis coming on? OK...let me dust my cobwebs off and we'll get started.
The Top 5, in no particular order:
Jason Castro - Forever in Blue Jeans - Loved the low range for him at the beginning...it was manly, solid, less squirrely. Oh, he had to pop up into his high. Which is nice, but not supported enough. Oh well. Still a nice rendition of a rather dated song. Jason is a sweetie, and just adorable, dreads & all, but I don't think he compares to the star wattage of David Cook. I'm afraid he may be near the end.
September Morn - Jason sings with such a laid back, sort of cheesy Love Boat feel, that I feel like I'm hearing the original version, only without the polish of Neil Diamond. I really liked the "Hallelujah" Jason, but I haven't liked him as much since then. I've enjoyed seeing some of the videos of him leading worship, though.
David Cook - I'm Alive - I don't know this one. I'm sure you're all surprised by that. I'm a regular pop culture encyclopedia...NOT. Anyway. This sounded cool to me. If it weren't Neil Diamond night, I'd have never guessed that it was a Neil Diamond song. I think we might as well just cinch this thing up right now. David Cook seems head & shoulders above the rest, in terms of his performance skills. He just maintains the poise, and comes up with something fresh and original each week. Even when I don't really like the song, I still think he's the best!
All I Really Need is You - Guess what? I don't know this song either. But. Chills. Really. As a vocalist, I really love strong, clear vocals (like David Archuleta), but I'm a total sucker for a singer who interprets his song. He makes these songs contemporary by making them meaningful. Current arrangements, appropriate dynamics, and a little bit of drama. I would seriously buy this on iTunes. But I don't have an iPod. Yep...I really am ancient. Or cheap. Or both.
David Archuleta - Sweet Caroline - I remember listening to this song on my parents' Readers' Digest cassette back in the late 70's/early 80's on road trips in our station wagon. Time to take some Metamucil and Bengay...maybe some Milk of Magnesia. Let me put my pink foam rollers in and cover them with a hairnet. OK...now to little Archie. Cute. Good. But, it seemed like a really nice voice covering a rather stale tune. Is that Bengay I smell on him? He needs to work on his "hip factor" or he'll just end up as another Clay Aiken. Cute, great voice, but kind of boring.
America - OK, this song is probably just a hint more contemporary than "Sweet Caroline". I could see him singing this on some network TV July 4th program. But really, David, you're starting to remind me of a really excellent singer on "Up with People". I think you're smart to choose songs which show off your vocals, but I'd love to see you sing a song that David Cook picked out for you! Then apply those stellar vocals. That would be hot.
Syesha Mercado - Hello Again - Barefoot? Weird. Syesha is just beautiful. And so poised. She reminds me a bit of Katherine McPhee...nice vocals. Very talented, but not as original as David Cook or as vocally strong as David Archuleta. Still, I would love to see her in a Broadway show...she'd be very entertaining.
Thank the Lord for the Night - She certainly takes command of the stage, much like David Cook, but in more of a Diva fashion. When I see her, I see an actress with surprising vocal talent, rather than a vocalist who can act. I think she gets in over her head vocally, so she makes up for it by performing big. But I think she is at her best when she has a mental idea of the character she's playing. That's what would make her great on the Great White Way.
Brooke White - Believer - Hmmm...the low just doesn't seem to work for Brooke, at least not at this tempo. She looks like she's trying too hard. That didn't do it for me. It was kind of Brady Bunch cheesy. I don't think I like guitar Brooke as much as piano Brooke.
I Am I Said - Her comments with Ryan were a little strange. Oh well. I like this a lot better already. Good range for her. In fact, I like her version better than Neil's. Very nice. Much more suited to her. This might redeem her. But the first one was so poor, I fear she may be on her way out.
Miles Ahead: David Cook
Almost There: David Archuleta and Syesha Mercado
Had a Good Run: Jason Castro and Brooke White
Please do stop by BooMama's to see her witty commentary on the Top 5. And definitely check out Cindy and Scott...these two are the dynamic duo of AI blogging. Very FUNNY and Alphabetical.