American Idol 10 Top 8 – iTunes Performances – Reviews

Favorite recordings:  Casey Abrams–I think it’s tough to do jazz justice in a minute thirty. The recorded version is outstanding and so much better than the shortened live arrangement.   I usually hate the way the producers record Paul McDonald’s voice, but it sounds decent this week.  Haley Reinhart does some nice vocal work on “Call Me”

  • American Idol 10 – Top 8 Compilation – $5.99 – iTunes
  • Paul McDonald – “Old Time Rock and Roll” – Pretty much like everything about this–the arrangement, the way Paul’s voice is recorded, the live feel.  The live performance felt all over the place.  iTunes
  • Lauren Alaina – “The Climb” – This is a’ight. Lauren has some great pipes, but she lacks confidence and self-possession. But that’s ok. She’s only 16 –  iTunes
  • Stefano Langone – “End of the Road” – I don’t even know what to say about this.  I can’t get into these corny R&B joints. Not my thing. I know it’s kind of a staple of the style, but when Stefano began toward the end, I laughed out loud  –  iTunes
  • Scotty McCreery – “I Cross My Heart” –  Beyond mentioning Scotty’s great recording voice, I got nothing.  Scotty’s been covering his heroes for years, but he’s not at the point yet where he brings something original to the proceedings. –  iTunes
  • Casey Abrams – “Nature Boy” – Casey’s vocal is gorgeous, musical, compelling. LOVES IT. – iTunes
  • Haley Reinhart – “Call Me” – Haley’s take on “Call Me” is not a rip off of the great Deborah Harry. Vocally, she has her moments here, revealing the kind of vocalist she’ll be with a more experience. – iTunes
  • Jacob Lusk – “Bridge Over Troubled Water” – Jacob’s quivering vibrato bugs the hell out of me.  He ain’t got nothin’ on Aretha. Just sayin’ – iTunes
  • James Durbin – “Heavy Metal” –  James has a massive metal voice. If Idol doesn’t offer him a recording contract, he can join the cast of Rock of Ages, or front a metal tribute band. Seriously –  iTunes
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Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted.I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!
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  • glamertitis

    I love James tonight – his best studio recording yet in my opinion. I can hear his passion, sincerity and talent and that’s what I like the most about James, because I wouldn’t put heavy metal as my favorite type of music.

    I also bought Jacob’s BOTW tonight and it is a mess. There are some really nice moments, but it never holds it all together like I was expecting. The quivering is very distracting

  • hoa_teca

    About Scotty.

    I am glad that you agree he has great recording voice.

    He’s just 17 by the way. And never be tested this much. So, go easy with him on it.

    It will take a long way for him to develop hos own style. But he can do that

  • sma11ie

    Interesting. The episode fell a little short for me tonight in execution, but I might buy some tracks for the first time this season!

  • GreenHippo

    I downloaded James’ Heavy Metal, my son wants it – *GASP*, I am still in shock that my not-so-sweet-16-year-old wants an Idol performance on his iPod. I am very happy over this mom-son bonding experience over James Durbin. Needless to say I voted (and still am) like crazy for him tonight :)

  • soverymel

    I’m surprised how much I like Haley’s studio track this week. I wasn’t crazy about her performance on the show, but in the studio she’s got a really interesting quality to her voice.

    The rest were just varying degrees of meh for me.

  • sma11ie

    I’m considering Lauren’s, Casey’s, and Haley’s. If I get two, I’d just pay the 1.29 times 2, but if I get 3 for $4 I wonder if I should just shell out the other 2 for the rest… but I REALLY have no interest in the others…

  • MaryS-NJ

    I bought Casey’s dowload. It’s really smooth and lush. Jamie Cullum has a nice career singing jazzified rock and updated jazz standards, I can hear Casey doing the same. I just find his live performance style a little…off-putting. I think it might be a different story on a small stage in a smokey club but on TeeVee it’s a little too “in your face”.

  • jennyl

    MJ, your take has just got me interested to get Casey. I’m gonna try and get James. Loved him this week.

  • SpenserJ

    Well, my 7 year old was still up when Lauren sang the climb, so I’ve got no choice but to buy that :).

    Haley is my favorite, but I can’t stand that song. The snippet is good, so I’m happy for her. But, I don’t want to own that song.

    Love Casey’s, and I believe there will be a time when I feel like listening to that again. So, I downloaded that one too.

  • sr4mjc

    I actually like Haley’s recorded track much better than the live version and I think she brings something different to the original. I might have to purchase my first S10 track. I bought no S9 tracks.

    I’m laughing my ass off at James. I’m in high school again, except it’s a bad cover band from 1986. Maybe Vegas has a metal cover show they need a singer for? Has Cirque done hair bands yet?

    Scotty sounds great recorded, even if country isn’t my thing. He may not bring anything original to his heroes, but does James? So if I fault one, I’ll fault both.

    I hate End of the Road, end of story. Stefano sounds ok recorded I guess, but this song is so cheesy.

    Lauren sounds great, but there’s nothing that would make me buy The Climb. Maybe she gained some Miley tween votes.

    Paul’s is fun, I don’t want to own it, but it captures the live performance.

    Bridge over Troubled Water. Jacob’s vibrato is out of control! Live was better, but Clay owned this song.

    Casey. Well, I just don’t like jazz. Sorry. I guess he sounds good, but it’s nothing I’d listen to.

    I love that iTunes gives us 90 sec previews now. They might get 1.29 out of me for Haley.

  • Margaux

    I bought Casey’s song this morning. Had to give tribute to the jazz, and afraid that America didn’t get it and will send him home.

    This was the first ITunes I bought this year. During the last 3 years I bought most of them…

    His live performance had more intensity, especially in the scat section, the recording has a nice tone, but not as compelling as the live version. And why aren’t they selling the live performances?

    And when I play Casey Abrams in ITunes, I go straight into the Casey James collection. I had forgotten what a nice recording voice the boy has.. where’s his album?

  • BootStar

    I wish I actually liked Casey’s voice because I love what he did with that song, but aside from his falsetto, I don’t enjoy his singing very much. GREAT song choice though.

    I actually like Haley’s recorded track much better than the live version and I think she brings something different to the original. I might have to purchase my first S10 track. I bought no S9 tracks.

    I actually really liked Haley last night, but I agree she sounds terrific recorded.

    And I know S9 is everybody’s favorite punching bag, but the studio recordings last season had far superior production values than what they’re putting out this year. Crystal’s “No One Needs To Know” and Casey’s “Jealous Guy” were far superior to anything I’ve heard this week.

  • Landmd

    I bought the whole thing this week, now I just need to delete Jacob and Stenfano.

    I enjoyed everyone else download this week.

    ETA The Climb sounds good but will get deleted soon,!