American Idol 13 Studio Recordings Top 7
This week’s performances were chosen by the finalists for their fellow finalists. There was no attempt at sabotage. In fact, in some cases, the kids chose for their competitors better than they do for themselves! The studio recordings, not surprisingly, reflect the improvement in performances this week. What a difference a good song can make.
I have the youtube song streams right here, along with mini-reviews. What are YOUR favorite American Idol 13 Top 7 studio recordings?
Caleb Johnson – Family Tree by Kings of Leon – Not a song that presents opportunities for huge moments, nevertheless, “Family Tree” has a groove that’s pleasant and inviting. If Caleb wins this thing, or manages to snag a record contract, he can look to the Kings of Leon on how to make blues rock with a contemporary twist. – Download from iTunes
Jess Meuse – Gunpowder and Lead by Miranda Lambert – I liked the way the song was re-arranged for Jess’ voice. There’s a darker edge here, that got lost in her awkward stage performance last week. Without the distracting visuals, Jess’ vocal prowess is front and center. As it should be. – Download from iTunes
CJ Harris – Gravity by John Mayer – Fans are fixated on his pitch issues right now. But CJ has so much more going for him that’s right. His soulful, aching interpretation of this song features a slightly raspy voice that plays nicely against a mournful lead guitar. We can only judge CJ on his live performances, but I have a feeling I’d buy his records. – Download from iTunes
Dexter Roberts – Muckalee Creek Water by Luke Bryan – I hate to say anything negative about Dexter. During the reporters conference call, he came across as a stand up guy–polite, sincere and really hard working. I can’t, however, get excited about his generic performances, no matter how competently sung they are. – Download from iTunes
Alex Preston – A Team by Ed Sheeran – Oh. So. Very. Pretty. He twists the song up a little–just enough to put his stamp on it. I like the Ed Sheeran version, but this is neither a carbon copy, or a disappointment. I love Alex’s recorded voice. – Download from iTunes
Sam Woolf – Sail Away by David Grey – Sam sounds fantastic. I’m not kidding. This is the kid I first saw in Boston during the auditions. His tone is captivating. Sam isn’t the type of singer who can take any song and make it his own. At this point in his career, he’s a very specific kind of singer. He needs the right material, and this moody, evocative song is it. – Download from iTunes
Jena Irene – Creep by Radiohead – Although it doesn’t carry the dramatic punch of the live version, Jena’s big moment is pretty impressive in the studio version too. The edited live version built in a straight line to the big climactic moment, while the longer studio version meanders a bit at the end. Still, Jena proves again that she has a voice that’s all her own. – Download from iTunes