Album review: Allison Iraheta’s ‘Just Like You’
On the cover of her new album, Allison Iraheta’s signature red mane has been emblazoned with purple and fuchsia. That spitfire spirit carries over into the most electrifying moments of “Just Like You, ” a batch of tuff-girl tunes for the torn-fishnets set, but too much of it sounds impermanent, like so much Manic Panic rinsing down the drain.
The collection, which comes on the heels of efforts from “American Idol” winner Kris Allen and glam panther Adam Lambert, is too derivative of the Pat Benatar, Pink, Kelly Clarkson trifecta; by the time the 17-year-old Iraheta, the youngest of the final four contestants on the last season of “Idol, ” blows her deliciously husky voice into these songs — written by a veritable city counsel of pop scribes — there’s not much left to stamp as her own. After all, what new depths can be plumbed in a song titled “D Is for Dangerous”?
Adam Lambert to host 93.3’s Jingle Ball on Dec. 13
As if you needed any more incentive to hit the 93.3 Jingle Ball concert on Dec. 13 at the St. Pete Times Forum — headliners include The Fray, Pitbull, Sean Kingston and Jordin Sparks — here’s one more: We’re told new king of glam Adam Lambert will serve as host and emcee for the event.
Now, here’s the bad news: Glambert isn’t scheduled to perform. Which means we may not get to see a repeat of his too-saucy-for-TV performance at the American Music Awards.
But there is good news. Glambert, like all the guests at the Jingle Ball, is scheduled to make an appearance in the MetroPCS Celebrity Club, alongside special guests Leona Lewis, Paradiso Girls, Cobra Starship, Chris Kirkpatrick and — why not? — Anthony Sullivan and Billy Mays III. So if it’s your undying goal in life to meet Adam Lambert, buy a Celebrity Club ticket. Click here for the details.
American Idol Winner and Platinum-Selling Artist Fantasia, VH1 and World of Wonder Team Up For New Docu-Series ‘Fantasia For Real’
SANTA MONICA, Calif., Dec. 1 /PRNewswire/ — VH1 will give viewers a close-up view into the complex, touching and surprisingly relatable life of recording artist, actress and American Idol winner Fantasia. The series follows Fantasia as she juggles her career and single-motherhood while devoting her energy into recording her highly anticipated third album. The 8 episode, 30 minute docu-series “Fantasia For Real” is slated to premiere January 11, 2010 at 10PM* on VH1.
As Fantasia’s fame has grown, her personal life has increasingly become more complicated. The sole breadwinner for her large family, Fantasia struggles to balance career, family, and the demanding life of a highly successful performing artist. Fantasia’s VH1 series delves into how she has dealt with the seismic aftershocks of fame, all while managing the daily demands of life on the road and writing and recording new music that will connect with her fans.
More Idol Headlines after the JUMP…
Adam Lambert: Maybe AMAs Performance “Wasn’t the Best First Impression”
Adam Lambert has been having second thoughts.
After initially writing off his erotically charged appearance at the 2009 American Music Awards as envelope-pushing showmanship, the singer is now wondering whether his performance was more for his entertainment than for yours.
“It was maybe a little too far, ” the 27-year-old artist admitted during a sit-down with The Ellen DeGeneres Show that airs Tuesday.
“I think in hindsight I look back on it and I go, ‘OK, maybe that wasn’t the best first impression to make again, the first second impression.’ I mean, I had fun up there, I had a good time, my dancers had fun and the band had fun.
“I respect people and feel like people walked away from that feeling disrespected. I would never intend to disrespect anybody. So that was not my intention.”
But count DeGeneres among those who believes there’s a double standard on TV when it comes to male vs. female sexuality.
Allison Iraheta: ‘I like singing angry!’
Whenever she spoke on American Idol, Allison Iraheta seemed perpetually cheerful — practically perky, even. But on her debut, Just Like You, Allison finds material better suited to a voice of fine-grain sandpaper.
“I like singing angry!” says the 17-year-old singer. And there’s plenty for her to sing on Just Like You — in the single Friday I’ll Be Over U, where a girl determines to get over a guy who treats her wrong in just two days; in the ballad Scars, where the anger turns inward; and in the potentially controversial Beat Me Up, where the anger heightens passion.
By and large, Just Like You delivers on the promise Allison showed on American Idol. Coming right on the heels of releases by Kris Allen and Adam Lambert, she runs the risk of getting lost in their shadows. But Just Like You shows that Allison Iraheta has a voice all her own.
Allison Iraheta’s ‘Just Like You’: Track-by-track
I won’t even try to convince you that Allison Iraheta’s Just Like You is the best album by an American Idol Season 8 contestant. But I will tell you that it’s the one I’ve listened to most, and the one I suspect I’ll play more going forward than either Adam Lambert’s or Kris Allen’s. I suppose it’s because that, even with all the Max Martin and Howard Benson production and the Pink and Kevin Rudolf songs, Allison’s music falls squarely into a tradition of teen-oriented pop that I’ve loved for decades. It’s also because, at their best, the songs on Just Like You are just good, old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll tunes, but they’re not fluffy, not silly and, in at least one case, could be as risky as anything on the top two finishers’ albums.
Allison Iraheta: ‘Just Like You’
Allison Iraheta proved herself to be this year’s “American Idol” prodigy.
At 16, she became the youngest Top Five contestant in the show’s history. Yet in her singing, she showed the kind of seasoned and assured rock ‘n’ roll voice you’d expect from an artist significantly older, from Janis Joplin to Joan Jett to Bonnie Raitt.
Small wonder so many viewers thought Iraheta got robbed when she found herself voted off four spots from the top. Many ‘â€ including yours truly ‘â€ felt it was Iraheta, not eventual winner Kris Allen, who deserved to go head-to-head with Adam Lambert for the ultimate crown.
Allison Iraheta makes Like a winner
**1/2 (two-and-a-half out of four stars)
Just Like You, the debut album from Allison Iraheta, is much like her American Idol run earlier this year: refreshingly raw, wildly inconsistent, full of potential — and held together by engaging, electric vocals.
At her best, Iraheta — who finished fourth behind Kris Allen and Adam Lambert — comes off like a junior Kelly Clarkson. Themes of self-worth and vulnerability (Pieces, the irresistible Beat Me Up) pop up frequently, standard fare for Idol alum. (See Jordin Sparks, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson.) But Iraheta’s growling delivery takes many of these songs over the top and makes them better than they should be.
Allison Iraheta, ‘Just Like You’
ESSENTIAL ‘Don’t Waste the Pretty”
The boys got most of the attention on ‘American Idol” last season, but fourth-place finisher Allison Iraheta has the last laugh with the most consistent debut album thus far. Instead of throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks, the 17-year-old Los Angeleno and her phalanx of producers stick to what suits her raw and rocking pipes. The result is a fresh and sassy debut mixing catchy girl-power pop with rock flourishes, perfect for Top 40 radio. Tunes like the defiant strutter ‘Holiday, ” the funky ‘D Is for Dangerous, ” and the anthemic ‘No One Else” come on like a blend of Kelly Clarkson, Paramore, ’80s-era Heart, and Pink, who co-wrote that last track.
Allison Iraheta on rejecting songs
Allison Iraheta has admitted she wasn’t shy about rejecting songs for her debut album.
The 17-year-old – who came fourth in the last series of American Idol – said she had to be ruthless while picking out songs for the record, which is called Just Like You and out on Tuesday.
She said: “They would send me songs, I’d take a listen, and if I liked it or not, I’d let them know – I’d be like, ‘I definitely do not want to do this, this is not me – what’s wrong with you?'”
However she revealed she changed her mind on one of the tracks thanks to a little bit of tinkering from one of the producers.
Allison Iraheta CD Review: Nothing New, But…
If Kelly Clarkson and P!nk had a daughter she would be Allison Iraheta. Her appearance, her demeanor, and especially her voice are the spitting image of both of them combined’ ¦
And although I mean that as a compliment to Allison it is also a bit of a problem for her on her debut CD, ‘Just Like You.’ Because even though it is a strong effort, you can’t get over the feeling that you’ve heard it all before’ ¦
Adam Lambert Makes A Bid For ‘Eclipse’ Soundtrack
Adam Lambert’s “Time for Miracles” has already been featured on the soundtrack for “2012.” But the “American Idol” runner-up is already thinking about having a song accompany another potential blockbuster: “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.”
Lambert thinks “Suburban Decay, ” a track produced by Rob Cavallo that didn’t make it onto For Your Entertainment, should find a new home on the June 2010 movie’s soundtrack.
A Tale Of Two Idols’ Sales
Naturally much fuss is being made about Kris’s self-titled album being the first Idol winner’s debut release to fail to crack the top 10 in its first week (it debuted at #11, which under normal circumstances ain’t too shabby for a new artist), and that Kris Allen had the lowest debut sales week of any Idol champ (his tally of approximately 80, 000 beat Jordin Sparks’s “low” first-week sales record of 119, 000). And likewise, Adam Lambert’s sales coup for For Your Entertainment–debuting at #2, with roughly 225, 000 units sold–is being (somewhat rightfully) hyped as a smashing success.
But these numbers have to be analyzed closely. Before any detractors assume that Adam “beat” Kris, that Kris flopped, or that Adam was a slam-dunk, several factors should be considered.
Adam Lambert Wanted For Your Entertainment To Be A ‘Variety Platter’
“Never did we decide to do one sound. It was always like, ‘I want a little bit of everything, ‘ ” Lambert told MTV News. ” ‘I want it to be a variety platter.’ ”
He said the album is a reflection of his weekly performances on “Idol, ” where the singer frequently tried on different musical hats. “Basically, that’s what I did on ‘Idol’ week to week. I changed it up ‘â€ my look, my sound, the arrangement, vocally, whether it was falsetto or if it was wailing. I wanted the album to do all of that and have all those different colors.”
Adam Lambert Vows to ‘Focus on the Music’ After AMAs Controversy
Adam Lambert has finally admitted he was a little rattled by the big reaction to his controversial performance at last Sunday night’s American Music Awards. In a series of tweets posted today on his official Twitter, the American Idol runner-up vowed to ditch some of his spectacle in favor of more attention on his songs. ‘Goin in a new direction now. Focus back on the music, ‘ he wrote.
Gaga And Glambert: Post-Sexy
What struck me most, though, about Lambert’s move was that it wasn’t surprising at all. Envelope pushing moments on an awards show? You don’t say. Yawn. Madonna wrote that book, thanks (and, indeed, Elvis and Mick Jagger and countless others before her). The real artistry these days comes in recognizing that we’re in the era those performers created ‘â€ after pushing the envelope for so long it’s now been pushed into something different. The trick is using that as another tool to stand apart, and above. In this seen-it-all age, the dramatic, fearless, hyper-sexualized personas of Gaga and Glambert are less transgressive than reflective ‘â€ two operatic, baroque characters less pushing the envelope than wearing it. Call it “Post-Sexy”: Incorporating and heightening the conventions of a sex-charged culture, so as to move beyond it.
Adam Lambert: A Fine Example Of The Sexual Double Standard
Granted, it was provocative. It could have even been considered sexually aggressive. But really, let’s cut the hypocrisy. We’ve always extended sexual and creative freedom to women as long as they were attractive and were scantily dressed. (Think Madonna, Britney, Christina…) So what is it about Adam Lambert that infuriates and scares people? Is it all about the same-gender kissing and simulated oral sex? Is it that he’s a man who loves glitter and eyeliner? Or is it that he (in all of his glam glory) is both masculine and feminine enough to be considered sexually attractive to many of us, regardless of how we identify — and that’s what really makes us uncomfortable?
KIRCHICK: Lambert offends equally
It may be hard to believe, but just two weeks ago, “American Idol” runner-up Adam Lambert was attacked for not being gay enough. The pop singer, whose controversial performance at the American Music Awards featured him locking lips with a male keyboardist and receiving simulated oral sex from a male dancer, appears on the cover of this month’s Out, one of the most popular gay magazines in the country. Its editors had tried to snag Mr. Lambert before “American Idol”was even halfway through its last season, but his publicists had refused, fearful of what effect his exposure as a gay man might have on winning the competition. When they finally relented and agreed to have him photographed for the annual Out 100 issue (featuring the 100 most important and provocative gay figures and supporters of gay rights) it was with the stipulation that he appear alongside several other people (one of whom, fellow singer Cyndi Lauper, is a straight woman) and that he not look “too gay.”
Adam Lambert: One of 2009’s Most Fascinating People
Barbara Walters sits down with 2009 music stars Lady Gaga and Adam Lambert as part of her special Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2009.
Gaga and Adam were chosen as two of the most prominent names in entertainment, sports, politics and pop culture and will have Barbara’s interviews with them aired next Wednesday (December 9) at 10/9c on ABC!
Danny Gokey Begins Media Blitz In Support Of Debut Single
19 RECORDINGS/RCA NASHVILLE artist DANNY GOKEY will head to ATLANTA TOMORROW (12/1) to perform and give an interview on the local FOX-TV channel’s “Good Day Atlanta” show. Check local listings for show times.
He’ll also hop over to CHARLOTTE, NC later that night to sing the NATIONAL ANTHEM prior to the CHARLOTTE BOBCATS/BOSTON CELTICS basketball game. Fans across the CAROLINAS can see GOKEY’s performance on FOX SPORTS SOUTH’s TV network. Check those local listings to find out when it airs.
DANNY’s debut single, “My Best Days Are Ahead Of Me, ” will be available at digital retailers on DECEMBER 22nd. For more info visit www.dannygokey.com.
‘American Idol’: New holiday albums hard to come by
Plenty of past “American Idol” contestants have albums out just in time for the holiday shopping season. But if you want new seasonal music from past Idols, the pickings are mighty slim.
Only 2008 runner-up David Archuleta has released a full album of Christmas songs this season, and it’s doing quite well: “Christmas from the Heart, ” a mix of traditional yuletide hymns and standards like “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas, ” ranked fifth on the Amazon music sales charts as of late Monday afternoon.
Ruben Studdard premieres his new Christmas song, Christmas In Your Arms
Here’s a special Christmas present, just for Beliefnet readers: The premiere of Ruben Studdard’s new Christmas song, “Christmas In Your Arms”!
The song doesn’t release until December 8th, when you can buy it on iTunes, but you get to hear it here first!
Carrie Underwood: Class Act
While other celebrities aren’t worried about being a role model, Carrie Underwood takes it very seriously.
The country singer said, ‘I take it very seriously, and my motto is I would never want to do anything that would embarrass my own children, in the future. And I think that’s the best way to look at things.’
Carrie Underwood Takes Role Model Status Seriously
While other celebs might be out there indulging in various late night escapades and wardrobe malfunctions, Carrie Underwood, on the other hand, says she doesn’t carry the burden of being a role model to young girls lightly. ‘I take it very seriously, and my motto is, I would never want to do anything that would embarrass my own children in the future, ‘ Carrie tells fans during an Invitation Only Q&A set to air tomorrow night at 9 p.m. ET on CMT.
‘I think that’s the best way to look at things, ‘ she adds. ‘Or, I never want to do anything that would make my parents, my role models, disappointed in me.’
Idol performs pitch perfect
American Idol knew what they were doing when they chose Kelly Clarkson – the girl can sing. The powerhouse vocalist performed at the Event Center for her “All I Ever Wanted” tour on Sunday night to a full crowd.
The aesthetics of the show were toned down, probably confident that the main attraction would provide a good show. A simple stage setup put the focus on Clarkson’s voice, which the singer took full advantage.
Time is on David Cook’s side
There’s no faster track to music stardom than “American Idol, ” but often the Fox series’ brightest graduates – including Chris Daughtry and Kelly Clarkson – have been eager to shake the reality show stigma once they trade a role on “AI’s” group tour for solo success.
But a year after the release of his self-titled debut, Season 7 winner David Cook isn’t in any hurry to step out of “Idol’s” shadow.
“I figure that kind of just happens. I don’t try to consciously do anything, ” says Cook, who turns 27 this month. “I have a great career because of the show.”
Concert Review: Daughtry at The Bridgeport Arena, Bridgeport CT (11/17/09)
t would seem that this is a change of scenery for me; seeing an ex-“American Idol” singer “rock” out to an entire arena full of soccer-moms and their 14 year old daughters. I figured I would switch my normal scene for something a little different, hoping to be proved my stereotyping is a bias, and that maybe I am wrong for judging. I was looking to be proven wrong ‘â€ hoping that this cookie-cutter rock ‘n’ roll artist from North Carolina might show me a thing or two. Daughtry has proven his place on the billboard charts, and has kept singles at #1 spots longer than the artist that won first place during his season of American Idol. ‘â€ What was his name, Taylor Hicks….?
I got to know a few of the 150 VIP fans standing outside in the blustery cold at the Bridgeport Arena in Connecticut. I discovered that they were as resilient and as hardcore as I imagined. I was not the one that was feverishly dialing into the fifth season of American Idol back in 2006 to cast my vote. So, it had me flirtatiously wondering, what is all the fuss about? What it is about these folks that have them so adorned with Chris Daughtry?
Former “Idol” finalist rocks nearly 4, 000 at the O’Connell Center
Monday night, Chris Daughtry performed with his band Daughtry at the O’Connell Center and showed 3, 820 people why he made it to the finals of the 2006 season of “American Idol.”
Daughtry’s status as a finalist on the fifth season of “American Idol” led to the release of a self-titled debut album that has sold more than 4 million copies. Earlier this year, Daughtry’s second album, “Leave This Town, ” hit No. 1 on Billboard magazine’s Top 200 albums chart and has sold more than 700, 000 copies so far.
Theory of a Deadman and Cavo opened Monday’s show, which was part of a 32-date national tour that will head to Europe in January after finishing U.S. dates in December.
From ‘Idol’ to Angel: Taylor Hicks goes for ‘Grease’
“American Idol” has proven a starmaker for its winner and many of its runners-up, but not every former idol can duplicate the mainstream chart career of a Carrie Underwood. That’s where Broadway comes in.
In 2008 Clay Aiken made his Broadway debut in “Monty Python’s Spamalot.” Fantasia Barrino did a stint as Celie in “The Color Purple.” Even “AI” castoff Frenchie Davis turned rejection into a stage career in “Rent” and “Dreamgirls.” Now Season 5 winner Taylor Hicks is taking his turn as “Grease’s” Teen Angel, the role Frankie Avalon made famous in the 1978 movie.
Interview: Blake Lewis – Singer, Songwriter and Producer
Blake Lewis is an ’80s baby. And with the release of his sophomore album, Heartbreak on Vinyl, the influences of David Bowie, Prince and Depeche Mode shine bright. Compared against his 2007 debut, A.D.D. (Audio Day Dream), one can only wonder what magical music moments were squandered or deferred, due to industry pressures to cash-in on the American Idol juggernaut.
After an abrupt departure from Arista Records, Blake Lewis found a welcome home at Tommy Boy Entertainment. Coincidentally, it appears, at least sonically, that he feels more comfortable in his ‘artistic’ skin. After long last, Heartbreak on Vinyl reminds the world why Mr. Lewis is the musical ‘rebel’ that we have grown to love.
Upon review of Heartbreak on Vinyl, Blake Lewis managed to squeeze some time out of his busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry’â€reflecting on his mother’s influence, a memorable performance for First Lady Michelle Obama, and Paul van Dyk’s ‘Words, ‘ his favorite vinyl record.
‘American Idol’s’ Clay Aiken: Happy birthday! (Nov. 30)
He’s been working in London and Germany on his latest album, which should be released sometime in 2010, possibly along with a PBS special. Oh joy!
On a more personal level, Aiken raised $10, 000 for his National Inclusion Project (formerly the Bubel-Aiken Foundation) through the Christie Cookie Charity Contest.
“Thanks to everyone that voted in the Christie Cookie Charity Giveaway, ” he posted on his official site. “Your votes were enough to put us back in the top spot!! A $10, 000 check was presented to the National Inclusion Project last weekend at their annual gala. This would not have been possible without you all.”
‘Rock of Ages’ to Revive the ’80s at Ticket Summit NYC
Attendees to the upcoming Ticket Summit in New York in January should prepare for an ’80s rock invasion: the Tony award-nominated jukebox musical, Rock of Ages, will be providing entertainment at the annual networking cocktail party on January 13.
Featuring the music of Journey, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Poison, and other gods of arena rock, “Rock of Ages” tells a classic “love conquers all” story through popular music. Like other jukebox musicals, the songs in “Rock of Ages” are familiar to anyone who lived through the era and had a radio (and also anyone aware of the recent 80s arena rock revival). Yet “Rock of Ages” is unique in that its music spans a variety of artists’â€unlike musicals like Mamma Mia!, in which only ABBA songs are performed’â€all from the hair band, acid-wash era.
Bucky Covington Cheers Up Sick Kids
Season 5 finalist Bucky Covington recently traveled to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House to bring pre-holiday cheer to sick children. At Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, Bucky performed Christmas carols and his country hits. Many of the children jumped in and played toy drums, tambourines, and maracas along to the music. After the show, Bucky visited with the children, their families, and hospital employees.
So You Think You Can Dance: All About the Top 10
Recognition, a spot on tour and a paycheck are all a part of what it means to be in the So You Think You Can Dance top 10. Last week, Karen Hauer, an American Rhythm dancer from Fort Lee, N.J., and Victor Smalley, a contemporary wonder from Miami, barely missed the mark as the judges had their final say in who stays and who goes. This week, season 6’s top 10 will get new partners, and the fans will handle the cuts from here on out until a new winner is crowned America’s Favorite Dancer. ‘Jed Dreben
Here’s a rundown the top 10 dancers who’ll be performing tonight: