I was under the impression that American Idol winner, Caleb Johnson’s. debut album would be self-titled, but it’s got a name–Testify. He’s been hard at work getting the record ready for it’s August 12 release.
Johnson has spent the time since last month’s Idol finale furiously writing and recording during marathon sessions in Los Angeles with top songwriters Blair Daly (Rascal Flatts’ Stand), James Michael (lead singer of Sixx:AM), Sam Hollander (Daughtry’s Waiting for Superman), Justin Trancer (lead singer of Semi Precious Weapons) and Dave Bassett (Shinedown’s Second Chance). By the end of the first week, they had written a dozen songs.
That’s great he’s been allowed to co-write, considering the short time frame for releasing the album.
“They said that’s the first time they’ve tried doing that in the history of the show,” says Johnson, 23. “Usually, they just give (the winners) demo songs. I want this to be an artistic statement on my part.”
And….this assertion is totally false. Season 11 winner, Phillip Phillips, co-wrote most of his debut album, World from the Side of the Moon. Phillip had to juggle making his album not only with a tour, but a debilitating illness. Season 8 winner, Kris Allen co-wrote most of his post-Idol debut, as did Season 9 winner, Lee DeWyze, for his Live it Up debut.
According to USA Today, Caleb has co-writing credit on six of the album’s 10 tracks–fewer than the winners mentioned above had on their post-Idol debuts. But it’s understandable considering the time frame. The songs “run the gamut from bluesy rock ‘n’ roll jams to Stax-inspired throwbacks and stripped-down piano ballads.”
One track, “Another Life,” was written by Aloe Blacc, who sent Caleb a demo their American Idol finale performance.
“I was just completely blown away by it,” said Caleb. “It’s got this driving piano and these amazing backgrounds. It’s awesome.”
Caleb’s coronation single, the Justin Hawkins tune, “As Long As You Love Me,” will be featured as a bonus track (along with a recording of “Dream On,” the Aerosmith cover he sang on the show). He’ll be performing the song on the upcoming American Idol Live tour, but don’t look for him to make it a part of his post-Idol tour set. He doesn’t believe the song exactly matches his style.
“It just didn’t fit me,” Caleb said. “It was really rushed.”
The new first single from Testify will be released in early to mid-July.
The American Idol 13 Top 10 kick off their summer tour in Binghamton, NY tomorrow night.
Via USA Today