Friday, May 15, 2009

songs of the day - 5.15.09: feeling good

I love American Idol. There, I said it. Most reality competition TV shows make me want to gouge my eyes out with a spork, but American Idol holds a special place in my heart. Next week's Season 8 finale will include two of my favorite contestants of all time: Kris Allen and Adam Lambert. In the four seasons I've watched, I'm pretty sure the talent has been the best this year. Adam Lambert is the cream of the crop and maybe the best contestant Idol has seen... ever. 

However, even though his mad vocal skills and emo hairdo are the bomb dot com, I think Adam's gotten a bit of unfair praise from the judges. Paula is unabashedly in his corner to win the whole shebang, and it seems new judge Kara Dioguardi has joined her. One of the songs Adam was heavily praised for (on Rat Pack week) was "Feeling Good," written by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse for the 1965 musical The Roar of the Greasepaint—the Smell of the Crowd, and probably most famously performed by the great Nina Simone.

Adam pulled the wool over the Idol judges' eyes on this one. The judges gushed about his original rendition of the song, but really, it was a straight ripoff of the version performed by Muse on their album, Origin of Symmetry. Too bad the judges have such limited record collections; they've probably never even heard of Muse (Randy definitely would've dropped the name if he knew). It's a trick Lambert's been pulling all year, like on his rendition of Tears for Fears' "Mad World" which sounded a heck of a lot like Gary Jules's version. David Cook copied covers regularly last year, as did Chris Daughtry in Season 5, and probably every other "rocker" on the show. (How do I know the judges have limited record collections? When Blake Lewis performed 311's "All Mixed Up," the judges revealed they had never heard of 311... uhh, WTF?)

But you know what? Who cares if he's covering covers? He sounds good. That's what counts in this competition. I don't really care if he wins or not. American Idol has a way of ruining talents by forcing them to put out terrible records, so I'm not holding my breath, but I have a sneaking suspicion and hope that Adam will transcend.


lac582 said...

Kara is so out of it. When he sang 'Dream On' she said she thought he should've sung *older* Aerosmith, like 'Cryin' or 'Crazy'. Um, hello? She also called "Falling Slowly' an obscure choice during movie week even though it just won the Best Original Song Academy Award. Lame!

lac582 said...

By the way, when I saw Live perform this past weekend at the House of Blues Anaheim Chris Daughtry came out on stage and joined them for 'I Alone.'

willcwhite said...

I agree - Kara's got to go next season. Randy, Paula and Simon are distracting enough and she just adds another level of immaturity. I liked the Post's analysis of their infantile hijinks the day after last week's episode.

Adam's genius lies not in his originality, but in his access to and choice of cover versions for the songs he performs. All of his choices are custom designed to win the competition. Although, on last week's episode I think he kind of came off like a one-trick pony.

As for all-time most talent on AI, I think that distinction must go to little David Archuleta from last year.

Andrew B. Watson said...

Adam will "...transcend", Eli?

American Idol? But, ehhh, wait, but, how, aaargh, ehhh, NO!!!!!

To quote Billy Madison:
"Mr. [Nesson], what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul. "

Sorry bud. Had to.
And please refrain from mentioning Muse and American Idol together ever again. It makes me shudder.


Bret said...

Regardless of the fact that he's doing covers, you gotta admit that Adam knocked it out of the freaking park on this version. Even Andrew would have to admit that. My favorite cover of Cook's last season was Chris Cornell's Billie Jean -- was fantastic.