Lee Dewyze ‘Live it Up’ – Track Listing and Songwriting Credits (Lee Has Credit on Every Song But One)

New Press Release from RCA about the upcoming Lee DeWyze album, Live it Up, due out November 16. After the jump, we got songwriting credits!  Lee co-wrote every song but one. (Kelly Clarkson had a writing credit on her first single, “Miss Independent”, so RCA might be a little confused about that, unless they are counting her coronation single “A Moment Like This” as Kelly’s first single.)

Lindy Robbins, Toby Gad and Lee Dewyze photo: @TobyGad via @DweezySignal

Los Angeles, CA. (October 20, 2010) – Season nine American Idol winner, self-taught singer, songwriter and guitarist, Lee DeWyze, announces Live It Up track listing. The album’s first single, “Sweet Serendipity” made an impressive debut “On Air With Ryan Seacrest” last week. Live It Up is due in stores and online November 16, 2010.

Inspired by musicians like Dave Matthews, Ben Harper, Ray LaMontagne, Cat Stevens, and Kris Kristofferson, DeWyze created Live It Up with the intent to lead listeners through compelling tales of relationships, with all of their ups and downs. Starting with his cheerful first single, “Sweet Serendipity, ” DeWyze sets a free-wheeling and light tone. Lee then explores themes of romantic uplift with “Weightless, ” regret with “Stay Here” and “Dear Isabelle, ” then conveys passionate urgency on the piano-driven tracks, “Me & My Jealousy” and “Beautiful Like You.”

Collaborating with Toby Gad (Alicia Keys, Fergie), John Shanks (Bon Jovi, Sheryl Crow), David Hodges (Kelly Clarkson, Weezer), and Norwegian production team Espionage (Beyonce, Train), DeWyze co-wrote all but one song on the album, and as such has become the very first American Idol winner to have writing credit on a first single. “To see my name listed in the credits on each song was really important to me because I’m a songwriter, ” DeWyze says. “I also loved working with such talented writers. They all brought so much to the table and helped me flesh out my sound… I want people to relate to these songs, ” DeWyze explains. “I love stories in songs and always try to write from an honest place. It’s about capturing emotion, so that when you listen, it takes you back to that place. My best memories are all connected to music and I want to create those moments for other people.”

Album Track Listing AND SONGWRITING CREDITS after the jump

1. Live It Up (Written by: Lee DeWyze, Toby Gad, Lindy Robbins, Produced by Toby Gad)
2. Sweet Serendipity (Written by: Lee DeWyze, David Glass, Jordan Lawhead, Produced by David Glass)
3. It’s Gotta Be Love (Written by: Lee DeWyze, Espen Lind, Amund Bjorklund, Claude Kelly, Produced by Espionage for 45th and 3rd Music LLC)
4. Dear Isabelle (Written by: Lee DeWyze, Toby Gad, Lindy Robbins, Produced by Toby Gad)
5. Beautiful Like You (Written by: Thomas Salter, Andy Stochansky, Produced by Chris “Rockwell” DeStefano)
6. Stay Here (Written by: Lee DeWyze, Espen Lind, Amund Bjorklund, Claude Kelly, Produced by Espionage for 45th and 3rd Music LLC)
7. Me And My Jealousy (Written by: Lee DeWyze, John Shanks, Zac Maloy, Produced by John Shanks)
8. Brooklyn Bridge (Written by: Lee DeWyze, Toby Gad, Lindy Robbins, Produced by Toby Gad)
9. Weightless (Written by: Lee DeWyze, John Shanks, Zac Maloy, Produced by John Shanks)
10. Earth Stood Still (Written by: Lee DeWyze, Toby Gad, Lindy Robbins, Produced by Toby Gad)
11. A Song About Love (Written by: Lee DeWyze, David Hodges, Michael Busbee, Produced by David Hodges)

About mj santilli 33680 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, 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!

105 Comments

  1. Wow, great for Lee!! I like how they emphasized that he’s the first to get a self-written first single, but I thought Kelly had a cowrite her first time?

  2. CindyM: but I thought Kelly had a cowrite her first time?

    She did. Either the RCA publicist forgot Kelly has a cowrite on Miss Independent or they’re counting A Moment Like This as her 1st single. My $ is on the RCA publicist forgetting.

    Who’s got the scoop on David Glass and Jordan Lawhead? I see they’ve worked with Alex Lambert so I guess 19 hooked them up with Lee.

  3. I didn’t think I could be more excited about this release but “passionate urgency on piano-driven” songs just sent me over the edge. Nov 16 can’t come soon enough for me (for you) ;)

  4. Lee has a very large composing contribution to his debut album. He seems like a nice guy and I wish him well.

  5. Kelly had a co-write on Miss Independent. So Lee is second winner to get cowrite. I am so proud of him, he has worked so hard, and I can’t wait to hear the finished album. If Only Dreaming is going to be included as a bonus track, then I suppose it will be a surprise and maybe that is why they didn’t list it here. wow, wouldn’t it be great if it was a solo endeavor by Lee? Anyways, thank you MJ for posting this great news!

  6. Well alright! Looks like they are gearing up for the push. Good luck Lee. :D

  7. Yes fuzzywuzzy. All the idols have had the same large collaboration on their debut release.

  8. That’s awesome for Lee. Other than Kelly’s co-write on MI, I wonder how many Idols (winners and finalists) fought and lost that battle?

  9. I wonder if Kelly Clarkson is a little ticked at that obvious blunder; forgetting that she is actually the first to have a co-write, lol.

    It’s good to see that RCA is finally getting something out there for the American Idol S9 winner.

  10. or they’re counting A Moment Like This as her 1st single. My $ is on the RCA publicist forgetting.

    I never thought of that, they might think of AMLT as the 1st single since the show was so different then. But I bet they just forgot like you said. Man, Season 1 seems so long ago.

    But yay Lee!
    regret with “Stay Here” and “Dear Isabelle,” then conveys passionate urgency on the piano-driven tracks, “Me & My Jealousy” and “Beautiful Like You.”

    makes me giddy. It seems like the tracks have a theme and the order has a theme as well, which gives me shades of Slumberland and reassurance that Lee was in on the making of the album more than I figured he would be.

  11. Looking at the tracklist and the way it was produced,this looks like a total pop album to me. Can we now stop comparing Lee to David Cook? Thanks. I hope he does well but looking at that list well it screams Pop.

  12. That was excellent news to come across today! So happy for him and truly wish him the best :)

  13. “passionate urgency on piano-driven” songs just sent me over the edge”

    I’m coming over the edge right after you!

    Awesome news about all of Lee’s co-writes. He did say the album would be “him.” I can’t wait!
    So now we know the two songs Claude Kelly tweeted about, “It’s Gotta Be Love” and “Stay Here,” both written and produced with Espionage,Claude Kelly, and of course, Lee DeWyze!
    I’ve noticed Lee’s name is first on all the songwriting credits. Is there any significance to this?

  14. LOL I said the other day I bet RCA would figure out a way to boast about him being the first winner to cowrite his first single. So happy for him though and he should be proud! Can’t wait to hear the Claude K songs!

  15. Woo-hoo! This is great news. Can’t wait.

    (27 days in case anybody was wondering)

  16. So ‘Sweet Serendipity’ was co-written and produced by Tony Gad, the same guy who had co-writing and producing credits on the ever-so-popular ‘The Truth’ by Kris Allen. The album does seem to be top-loaded with pop writers and producers.

    ETA: Oops. Tony Gad is the co-writer and producer for ‘Live it Up’, ‘Dear Isabelle’, ‘Brooklyn Bridge’ and ‘Earth Stood Still’. The guys fingerprints are all over the album for sure, but not on SS. Sorry for the confusion.

  17. Color me stoked! It looks like either TPTB regard Lee as talented enough as a songwriter to be trusted to write or co-wrote pretty much every song, or cooperative enough that they could risk letting him do that. I’m really looking forward to his album–in spite of the meh first single, I think it’s gonna be amazing.

  18. Sky I don’t see any comparisons to David Cook here. But now that you mention it… Nope no comparison. Totally different artists. I love musical diversity ;). And I still can’t wait for Live It Up!

  19. ClaudeKelly Hey @LeeDewyze fans! the 2 songs i cowrote on his album: “Its Gotta Be Love” & “Stay Here”! Espionage produced. hope they rock ur effin sox!

    tweet from Claude Kelly! can’t wait to hear the album!

  20. Color me stoked! It looks like either TPTB regard Lee as talented enough as a songwriter to be trusted to write or co-wrote pretty much every song, or cooperative enough that they could risk letting him do that. I’m really looking forward to his album–in spite of the meh first single, I think it’s gonna be amazing.

    Those are some pretty impressive songwriters he’s working with.

  21. Who’s got the scoop on David Glass and Jordan Lawhead?

    I’ve long suspected that the stable writing partners have more to do with the Sony relationship than the 19 one, and this is more evidence.

    Jordan Lawhead is a folk rock songwriter who has a deal with Sony/ATV. There was supposedly a benefit on his behalf (he had melanoma) featuring Cary Brothers and Matt Hales of Aqualung. So he moves in the indie-folk circles, I guess.

    I can’t find anything specific about David Glass except there was a David Glass who did some sessions with Natasha Bedingfield (also a Sony artist).

    So I’m just going to amuse myself by imagining what SS would have sounded like if written with Philip Glass, instead.

  22. I’m so happy with all this news and can’t wait to hear all the songs. I’m really glad it seems like Lee was able to execute his vision here. I guess we’ll find out info on the iTunes track at a later time. Artemis, the credits could just list Lee first alphabetically but if there is reason for the order the do place the larger contributors first. I don’t think anyone expected a hard rock album from Lee so I don’t know how the collaborators indicate the eventual sound of the record. I still choose to buy in mostly to how the critics described the songs they were allowed to sample. We’ll hear for ourselves soon enough!

  23. Surprises me that Lee doesn´t have a single solo original.

    Pleases me and gives some hope for the album that this David Glasspers who produced Sweet Serendipity, didn´t produce any other song. Hopefully he´s mostly to blame for the heavy auto-tuning on SS and the other producers have a different vision.

  24. ItsMyT1me: I did not mean this thread specifically. I meant the comparisons in the media in general about the two. Very different artists.

  25. Pleases me and gives some hope for the album that this David Glasspers who produced Sweet Serendipity, didn´t produce any other song. Hopefully he´s mostly to blame for the heavy auto-tuning on SS and the other producers have a different vision.

    ahhahahaha

    Just out of curiosity I looked up how many songs each of the winners actually had a hand in writing and it shocked me at how little to do with their own albums they actually had until Cook. I always knew it wasn’t much, but before David, Kelly and Taylor were the only ones to even have a hand in the writing of 25% of their debut album. YIKES. Even the non-winners besides Chris had almost their entire albums just handed to them. Eye opening (and it shouldn’t have shocked me as much as it did ha!)

  26. It’s great to come home to news like this! He wasn’t kidding all those times when he said RCA was giving him freedom to do what he wanted for the most part.

  27. movin2thabeet:
    10/20/2010 at 3:16 pm
    So ‘Sweet Serendipity’ was co-written and produced by Tony Gad, the same guy who had co-writing and producing credits on the ever-so-popular ‘The Truth’ by Kris Allen. The album does seem to be top-loaded with pop writers and producers

    I think you may have read that incorrectly….

  28. Those are some pretty impressive songwriters he’s working with.

    Yes, indeed! Seems pretty obvious that RCA thinks Lee DeWyze is an impressive songwriter, as well! Of course, we already knew that! :)

  29. Seems pretty obvious that RCA thinks Lee DeWyze is an impressive songwriter, as well! Of course, we already knew that!

    Then why no solo credits? Am I the only one surprised?

    Although Kris was very disappointed for not having more say on his CD, he and David Cook at least got one solo original

  30. Looking at the tracklist and the way it was produced,this looks like a total pop album to me. Can we now stop comparing Lee to David Cook? Thanks. I hope he does well but looking at that list well it screams Pop

    What makes you think it will be a pop album? Most of the people who heard four of the songs on the album have thrown out John Mayer, Jason Mraz and Dave Matthews as people who have a similar sound, and none of those people are pop. Toby and Lindy are the regular 19 stable of writers, and they’ve worked in every genre.

    Although Kris was very disappointed for not having more say on his CD, he and David Cook at least got one solo original

    Kris co-wrote 8 of the 12 songs, so that’s a pretty big contribution. He also got the chance to work with some of the people who he looks up to, like Joe King, so he wasn’t tied down to the regular 19 writers.

  31. Weebs787: Even the non-winners besides Chris had almost their entire albums just handed to them.

    You forgot Kellie Pickler who cowrote 5 out of 11 songs on her debut album.

    Not writing the majority of your album isn’t the same thing as being handed a whole album. Some Idols weren’t that involved with the song selection for their albums but others had songs tailored for them and were heavily involved in the song selection process. That’s definitely true for the country girls Carrie and Kellie.

  32. ‘Why are there no solo originals on the album?’ There’s no way for us to know. We weren’t in the meetings where they decided on which songs to put on the album.

    We’re still keeping the hope alive that Only Dreaming is a hidden track somewhere.

  33. Then why no solo credits? Am I the only one surprised?

    I’m a little surprised yes. But I think Lee was just happy to have a hand in writing everything, I don’t know if it mattered who he wrote it with.

    And we never know how much each person had a hand in writing each song. Kelly wrote the lyrics and melody to “Because of You” when she was 16, years before she played it for Hodges and Moody and they helped her polish it up. She wrote it, and they still get writing creds. Lee could’ve done something similar to that. Not every song has to be built from the ground up for everyone listed to be involved. We’ll never know unless he tells us.

  34. I’ve read that a lot of that ‘having songs handed to them’ is attributed to Crypt Keeper Clive and any signed Idol artist he was more directly involved with….but people who are more familiar than I would have to say – I came to this social phenomena in Season7, as Clive was being phased out.
    I only have a cursory idea of the back history, enough to be mightily glad his shriveled paws were not all over David’s record – and to see that the strings have been loosened a little on subsequent winners. I wish Lee good fortune with his debut, for sure.

  35. Then why no solo credits? Am I the only one surprised?

    Although Kris was very disappointed for not having more say on his CD, he and David Cook at least got one solo original

    Taylor had 3 originals on his debut..The Deal, Soul Thing and Hell Of A Day was on the Walmart bonus cd..I’m sure he fought to have them on there…

  36. Taylor had 3 originals on his debut..The Deal, Soul Thing and Hell Of A Day was on the Walmart bonus cd..I’m sure he fought to have them on there…

    Interesting! So Taylor was not only the first to have a solo credit, but 3 of them! Funny this hasn´t come up on some of the threads these things were discussed

  37. And there is at least one other AI winner who took another bands unpublished song added a guitar riff to it and was given a writing credit so there is a wide latitude to the term co-write. Personally not sure why it is important how much of any given song was written by Lee or others. They are still Lee’s songs on Lee’s CD.

  38. This is so exciting! It does not matter who wrote what at this point to me I just want to hear the music. :) Is it Nov. 16th yet?! I would like for Dreaming alone to be a bonus track.

  39. This is so exciting! It does not matter who wrote what at this point to me I just want to hear the music

    That´s a healthy and rational attitude! Good for you :)

  40. And there is at least one other AI winner who took another bands unpublished song added a guitar riff to it and was given a writing credit so there is a wide latitude to the term co-write. Personally not sure why it is important how much of any given song was written by Lee or others. They are still Lee’s songs on Lee’s CD.

    Yes, and if I remember correctly Chris had “It’s Not Over” and simply reworked the chorus with Ace Young and that was his contribution to the song. (I’m not 100% positive on that though)

    I guess I was the one who really brought up the “songs being given to them” stuff. :) Sorry. I just found it fascinating because this is all new to me. I don’t know what it means either way, but whoever said it had to do with Clive, I can see that because the tide seemed to turn (with the winners at least) when he was no longer involved. Thank God for that!

    And I think where people get excited that Lee (or any of their favorites) had a co-write on most of the songs on the album is because he made it such a big deal that he wanted it like that. I’m more happy for him that he got something that he wanted moreso than the songs are co-written by him. It just shows to me that he brought an idea to the table that ended up working in his favor. That’s all.

  41. The thing I like about Lee, well, okay, ONE of the things I like about Lee is that he is a work in progress. People saw growth in him on the show because there WAS growth in him, just like Slumberland is better than So I’m Told. Lee takes every opportunity to learn and better himself. So to me cowrite is Lee working with seasoned songwriters and listening and learning. The video clip of him with TG and LP showed a creative meeting of the minds. These writers are cognizant of the artist and just like those who had songs tailor made for them, Lee had a big part of how these songs turned out and how he envisioned them. Pure speculation in my part, but I’m just saying that cowrite instead of solo credit doesn’t upset me because I think the album will showcase Lee’s vision.

  42. Good for Lee! hopefully the rest of the album will have variety and won’t be so popish. I’m happy to see that the producers of SS DON’T have a hand in any other songs. I can’t wait to listen to ” Dear Isabelle” since that’s the song that got really good reviews.

  43. AIaddict:
    10/20/2010 at 4:13 pm
    This is so exciting! It does not matter who wrote what at this point to me I just want to hear the music. Is it Nov. 16th yet?! I would like for Dreaming alone to be a bonus track.

    You are reading my mind again!! ;) I’m so excited I dont know what to say!!

  44. So I’m just going to amuse myself by imagining what SS would have sounded like if written with Philip Glass, instead.

    Lol. Lee specializes in rough vocals over pretty melodies, but he does need some kind of melody.

  45. I guess I was the one who really brought up the “songs being given to them” stuff. :) Sorry. I just found it fascinating because this is all new to me. I don’t know what it means either way, but whoever said it had to do with Clive, I can see that because the tide seemed to turn (with the winners at least) when he was no longer involved.

    Yeah, it was mostly a Clive thing it seems. The reigns have been loosened a little more every year since Clive stopped being in control. Which, one could argue of course, marked the end of the blockbuster Idol albums. LOL. I like it better this way myself. :D

    I THINK names going first is supposed to mean you have the biggest share of the copyright (and by implication the biggest contribution to the song) but that could easily be wrong. I’m sure someone will correct me if I have it wrong!

  46. RCA certainly didn’t give the biggest songwriters on the list the lead single. I also couldn’t find much on David Glass. I did find Jordan Lawhead’s bio which is interesting.

    http://www.jordanlawhead.com/bio.html

    Also, I know David Hodges has written on a lot of songs but do we know of any he has produced? I’m really curious to see what his production style is like.

  47. Lee specializes in rough vocals over pretty melodies, but he does need some kind of melody.

    Maybe they can use Auto-Tune on some of the melodies as well as for Lee’s vocals. ;)

  48. OMG! yay this is brilliant! Co-write on all but one..i guess RCA know’s Lee’s talent :) Dying to heeear it…

    lol anyone else google-ing all these songwriters we hadnt heard of? ;)

  49. After listening to other AIers who have written a lot of their own material lately I am totally into a wait and see attitude for Lee’s cowrites. If they are as bad as Sweet Serendipity I don’t give the album much hope, but if he can pull off some good tunes then kudos. What bothers me in all this “songwriting” credit stuff is that we never know what the writer’s input was. Did they compose, write lyrics, come up with the concept, change the beat, add a bridge or chorus…I liked it so much better when a song was Music by and Lyrics by…then you knew who to really credit with a song’s success.

  50. Lee cowriting on 10 out of 11 songs is very impressive to me. He wrote all originals songs for his pre-idol albums so whether or not he has an original on this album doesn’t seem like a big deal. He basically had a say in every song which is great.

  51. Since Lee won Idol, he’s had the opportunity to work with successful professionals, to acquire new skills, to learn to take a good song and make it better.Why would he turn this down by insisting on recording a song with absolutely no input from anyone else? He’d already recorded two albums that he wrote by himself. All his preIdol songs belong to Wuli, anyway, so they were not available for this album.

    Sometimes I wonder about how much input a powerful celebrity not known for songwriting has when he/she gets a credit on a song. I doubt these new Idols have the pull to muscle their way into a songwriting credit they didn’t earn.

  52. She did. Either the RCA publicist forgot Kelly has a cowrite on Miss Independent or they’re counting A Moment Like This as her 1st single. My $ is on the RCA publicist forgetting.

    My money is on the RCA publicist choosing to ignore facts that don’t fit with the narrative they’ve decided on running with. Any publicist worth their blackberry knows that journalists often just rework a press release without checking facts. If it is exposed, the publicist can just say “Whoops! Aren’t you clever for noticing that?”. RCA did the same with Daughtry when they claimed that he was the first to write all the songs on his album (when he did not and Tamyra had written more) and when they said that Daughtry slaved away to finish his album while everybody else on tour larked around (when Pickler actually got her album out before him right after the tour so she must have worked on it too and there were lots of stories that she did).

    The narrative for selling Lee is that he’s such a good songwriter, he’s the first winner to get a co-written single. Who cares that he’s not? You have to craft a story.

    They can’t even credibly claim that Kelly’s first single was “A Moment Like This” because by that same theory, Lee’s first single was “Beautiful Day”. And we certainly know he didn’t write that.

  53. yep create news when there is none to have.. spin doctors! I love PR they are so creative. ;) Heck maybe they had the release written before the beginning of the season and just crossed out all the shes and inserted hes. J/k

    That chuckle aside. I’m now interested to hear what he comes up with. I guess spun it well enough for me. :)

  54. That’s on the money. The pub’s job is to spin a narrative. I have no idea how Lee’s album is going to go over, but I’m not holding my breath here. Nothing against Lee, although I find him a little dull, he’s very capable. It’s that..this happens EVERY YEAR. Every year the album is going to be “real” and “different” and “represent” the winner. It never does. Never.

    The problem is that the album is made much too fast to be as amazing as they want to spin it. They throw some songwriters together [okay, Lee was in the mix, but if I had written SS I wouldn’t boast about it] and they look for singles. Every song is produced by someone else. It’s not a recipe for amazing. I liked Adam’s album okay, but for every Fever there’s an Aftermath. [heh] I hope he’ll do better next time. I thought Kris’s album was the blandest bland ever blanded. Kris is talented, no question. It’s the process that’s wrong.

    Whatever this album turns to be, it’s not going to be Blood on the Tracks.

  55. Every year the album is going to be “real” and “different” and “represent” the winner.

    You forgot to include authentic. ;)

    Yes – to what you said.

  56. songsungblue- just because you don’t like a certain album doesn’t mean that the album is bad or bland or that other people don’t like it(and just from the example you gave- I think that Kris’s album is great and is far from being bland. And I am not the only one thinking it. And the same it true for albums of other idols or artists in general). No matter how Lee’s album will sound- not everyone will like it. That doesn’t mean that it won’t be a good album. Quality is subjective.

  57. Even though his single SS is not my thing, I’m really curious about his album.

  58. luly:

    I think that Kris’s album is great and is far from being bland. And I am not the only thinking it. And the same it true for albums of other idols or artists in general). NO matter how Lee’s album will sound- not every will like it. That doesn’t mean that it won’t be a good album.

    agreed!

  59. Since an opinion of an album is subjective, I guess all albums are good and all albums are bad, just depends who´s asked

  60. The problem is that the album is made much too fast to be as amazing as they want to spin it.

    I agree and I’ve always thought this. I would much rather they take their time to make a great album and make sure it’s absolutely right, rather than get it out so quick. Although I can also understand the idea to “strike while the iron is hot” and get the artist out there before the memory of their American Idol success dies. It’s a catch 22, and I guess the lesser of 2 evils is that they “rush” to make an album and get it out there, even though it’s not probably the best work that can be produced by the artist. (Having said that, I like David Cook’s album a lot, and Kris’, and I have high hopes for Lee.)

  61. Eriko:
    10/20/2010 at 8:27 pm
    Since an opinion of an album is subjective, I guess all albums are good and all albums are bad, just depends who´s asked

    Truer words have never been spoken…or written. Extends to music in general as well (not just a recorded album )- considering it’s art and you can argue in support of anything even if technically imperfect.

    Good to see that Lee’s got all the co-writes, really. Hopefully it means that the music better represents him and not just the formula that a company wants to make music fit to.

    6 different producers though if I count right? Again this is one of the areas that I know people have disagreed on but that makes it hard to really have much continuity in an album. Maybe it’ll all work. Is that sort of thing actually common in pop music? I’ve never paid much attention to producers of albums, or songwriters either – much of the music I listen to I “think” is written by the artist themselves but I could be totally wrong. Just a little reading about Toby Gad and seeing how big of a mark he’s got on this album makes it sound like it’ll definitely be more pop leaning. Hopefully more of the pop/rock vein because that really seems more Lee – but none of us actually are him so who knows exactly who the real Lee is.

  62. I’d say that yes it is common in pop music bit I have not looked up the credits for everyone of course. Kris and Adam both had more than 6 producers on their albums and sometimes more than one per song. It isn’t unheard of in rock music but I can see it is less common. I see the discussion as a lot of pop vs. rock but no real room for there to be a gray area in between. I never for a second expected Lee to make the Nickelback/Daughtry music that so many were predicting, so does that automatically take him entirely out of the “rock” category? I don’t expect him to perform songs with backup dancers and to a track live so does that mean he isn’t pop either? I’m still calling it pop rock unless the album tells me otherwise.

    That is a good point about cohesion but I guess I’m wondering why that is preferred over eclectic? I like to buy albums and listen to them start to finish so I appreciate the concept and execution of a whole album and a complete musical journey from the artist’s point of view. At the same time we hear often how some people’s albums all sound the same or artists are just remaking their hit singles? Case in point today a lot of people have commented that the Kings of Leon record all sounds the same. So I wonder how important that cohesive sound really is if some good is achieved in sacrificing it for a little bit of needed variety.

  63. Eriko:
    10/20/2010 at 8:27 pm
    Since an opinion of an album is subjective, I guess all albums are good and all albums are bad, just depends who´s asked

    Exactly !!!! And I think this extends to music in general. People have individual likes and dislikes when it comes to music and there is no right or wrong.

    I do think, that they rush the albums out even though I understand why they do it. Now, I loved David Cook’s album, as well as Kris’s, and most of Adam’s, and I am amazed that they were able to put together an album in so little time. And even so, I do think they would have been improved with more time, because even since they have been touring, the arrangements of the song has evolved and improved.

    I think it’s terrific that Lee is getting so many cowriting credits.

  64. So I wonder how important that cohesive sound really is if some good is achieved in sacrificing it for a little bit of needed variety.

    I can say this, if I´m for example listening in a good stereo system to a Greatest Hits album of an artist, it bugs me the difference the sound can be from one song to another. Some songs may be from an album which was bass heavy, others that is brighter, others with a deeper sound stage etc etc. Often the reason is that there were different producers for each album. So, I can see using 6 different producers giving a negative impact on an album as a whole.

    The saying, “the whole is better than the sum of the parts” would hardly apply in this case, that is, using 6 different producers

  65. The narrative for selling Lee is that he’s such a good songwriter…

    Not sure that’s his narrative, but your point is still very smart. Boost his street cred by exaggerating his writing contributions, while recording a cookie-cutter pop album primarily written from the usual top-40 sources.

    19 is BRILLIANT!!

  66. songsungblue, Bingo! Maybe if they call these first albums what they are – rushed fleeting TV high profile albums – we can skip the philosophical arguments of whether these albums are pop or rock or rock/pop or pock music. As far as I’m concerned, Idol has never put out a rock album, although sometimes they might brush past a rock or two.

    It’s all still about branding. Fans need to believe that their faves album will be totally unique and different and authentic, so its branded as such. As many a wise person has advised, never trust a PR person (or is that a used car sales person?). They give us a hard sell based on what we want to hear. Those in the periphery, like myself in this case, can see the forest from the trees, and let out a resigned sigh. Same old, same old. And then, if we have the courage to expand our gaze, we notice they’ve done the same thing to our fave.

    The best consolation for me is to remember that these albums are almost like afterthoughts to the TV show. New season comes around and if earlier Idols haven’t won awards and made some historical mark in the industry, they’ve virtually forgotten so that the show can remain about winners and big dreams. No time to deal with faded dreams (Allison who?) – it spoils the narrative.

  67. A greatest hits album would span several eras so I could see how the sounds would be very different from track to track. Of course I don’t hope for jarring differences but I am at a point where I want some different textures from all of my favorite artists, not just Lee. Also, cohesion isn’t just achieved in production but from songwriting and telling a certain point of view or story.

    What does cookie-cutter pop even mean?

  68. There’s nothing that says that Lee didn’t come to the table right off the bat with song ideas, or actual songs and/or an album theme which was/were simply built on by the other writers. It could have a very cohesive “sound” based upon the amount of input Lee did in fact have, maybe from the beginning. This might be a stretch, but what if he did have more input than any other “Idol” artist up to this point? Kind of fun speculating with the facts at hand even tho we can’t be really sure until November 16.

  69. A disadvantage to having one producer for an album is that the songs often tend to sound too much alike-it may take listening to the album several times for any one song to really stand out, and unless the artist is one I already like from past works (or because I wore my fingers off voting for him/her), I’m likely to toss it aside after a listen or two and not play it again.
    Albums with a variety of sounds and moods because of several different producers are apt to have more songs that are appropriate to be released as singles. FYE is my favorite Idol album so far; it’s just full of radio ready songs. The only thing the songs have in common is Adam’s voice.
    Eriko-the thing that bugs you about “greatest hits” albums is what I love-the variety.It’s just a matter of opinion. :)

  70. I think having multiple producers is less of a problem for cohesiveness than having multiple songwriters, especially if the artist isn’t a cowriter. IOW, I think that Kris’s album is more cohesive than Adam’s, even though they had multiple producers, Kris was much more involved in the songwriting, while Adams had various songwriters and very different types of songs. And I’m not saying this is good or bad, just different, because they are both different types of artists.

    I could also see, especially with David Cook’s album, that having listened to his preidol work also, that he was very involved in the songwriting, because I can hear his style in his music. That even though he had cowriters I could hear his influence. I am hoping to see this with Lee also.

    And I do think that having cowriters helps to keep the songs from all sounding too similar, especially if they have to write in so short of a time. Especially for a solo artist.

  71. bamintx:
    10/20/2010 at 10:19 pm
    There’s nothing that says that Lee didn’t come to the table right off the bat with song ideas, or actual songs and/or an album theme which was/were simply built on by the other writers. It could have a very cohesive “sound” based upon the amount of input Lee did in fact have, maybe from the beginning. This might be a stretch, but what if he did have more input than any other “Idol” artist up to this point? Kind of fun speculating with the facts at hand even tho we can’t be really sure until November 16.

    It could be that they have seen how well others have done right after AI, that they came up with some good songs, so that they were willing to give Lee more cowrites. Seems like they are more open to this than they were in the past. Wish they had taken the next step and allowed original music during the show, at least for the last few contestants. And unfortunately, I don’t see this happening on next years AI if they are de-emphasizing the singer songwriter type as the articles that have come out have implied.

  72. Since I have no background in the making of an album, and this might be a really newb kind of question, but what exactly does the producer do relative to the writer of the song? Would more producers automatically make it less cohesive than a single producer? I loved Daughtry’s first album, but after a few listens it all sounds quite similar…. would that fall on the production of the album or maybe somewhere else?

    I actually had the exact opposite worry in terms of songwriters, it seems like to me, he co-wrote with less people than previous people. I don’t know what that says, negative or positive, it just jumped out to me that there were several songs written by the same people.

  73. Every year the album is going to be “real” and “different” and “represent” the winner. It never does. Never.

    I do agree with you in general. I was Biced :( Blake, nah. Cook- was my all time fave, but a little disappointed, although I do still listen. Two albums I do listen to again and again- Daughtry and Danny Gokey. Daughtry’s was representative I thought, although a little ‘softer’ than I expected. Danny’s- I didn’t expect much, because I was not a country fan except for cross over like some of Carrie, Keith and Dixie Chicks but I love it and play it all the time.

    And I would imagine there are some other fans who are really happy with what has been put out, but yeah, it can be disappointing.

  74. Since I have no background in the making of an album, and this might be a really newb kind of question, but what exactly does the producer do relative to the writer of the song? Would more producers automatically make it less cohesive than a single producer?

    As I understand it (and I’m sure it varies depending on the artist, writers, and producers themselves), producers are going to mostly be responsible for the mixing, processing, layering – all of that sort of thing. The writers would generally be more involved in composing the music and lyrics. If one track on an album sounds overwhelmingly more bassy than the rest of the album, it’s probably a producer’s issue. There’s no reason why an album couldn’t sound cohesive with multiple producers, although one may have the tendency to use more digital effects than another (autotuning, vocal layering, etc). I pick up on the fact that it was said that Live it up and Sweet Serendipity sound similar (according to some of the reviewers), but yet the producers are different – in fact the only common link writer and producer wise is Lee himself. This sounds like things will be more “pop” than rock in general, but still, that’s only 2 out of 11 tracks.

    I see the discussion as a lot of pop vs. rock but no real room for there to be a gray area in between. I never for a second expected Lee to make the Nickelback/Daughtry music that so many were predicting, so does that automatically take him entirely out of the “rock” category? I don’t expect him to perform songs with backup dancers and to a track live so does that mean he isn’t pop either? I’m still calling it pop rock unless the album tells me otherwise.

    I’m not a music genre expert by any means (it just totally gets into hair splitting), but to me “pop rock” sounds like groups like Train, Maroon 5, Plain White T’s, etc. Now I by no means know all of their music, but Sweet Serendipity to me sounds much more pop than anything I’ve heard by those groups – or to be more precise, it sounds less rock than any of them. Then again others will say that SS is nothing close to what pop really is today. But if I were working in a music store and deciding whether to file SS in either the “pop” or “rock” section, I’d go with pop. Remains to be seen about the rest of the album.

    ETA – And I never expected Nickelback/Daughtry, at all. I figured John Mayer/Five for Fighting. That may still be the general direction of the album – SS could be the oddball track.

  75. Thank you Mozart that helped alot! Count me as one of the ones who’d categorize it more ‘pop’ than ‘rock’ but it’s definitely not your typical pop song of 2010.

    But we can’t really tell what kind of vibe any of the other songs are just by the names listed on the credits. I’m somewhat interested in the combinations of names than anything. I’m interested to see what kind of sound someone like Lee (folk/rock/pop) Espionage(bouncy Norwegian pop/R&B pop) and Claude Kelly (Mostly straight R&B) come up with. That to me seems like it could be a little more than your typical “sell out pop” that some like to suggest the whole album will be. I honestly don’t know what kind of sound that pairing will make

  76. Yeah I’d agree with you Mozart that if I had to pick SS is more pop than rock. It is funny because I’m generally someone who gets cranky when the rock or rocker label gets thrown around when something resembles nothing like what modern rock sounds like right now. I just also think the pop label is a bit of a default for anything that sounds remotely mainstream commercial.

    I’m also very curious about that too Weebs. Interesting that Espionage wrote with Maloy for David Cook’s record but with Lee they mixed up the pairing to Kelly/Espionage and Maloy/Shanks.

  77. There’s no reason why an album couldn’t sound cohesive with multiple producers, although one may have the tendency to use more digital effects than another (autotuning, vocal layering, etc).

    Speaking of digital effects, I keep hearing people say Lee sounds autotuned on Sweet Serendipity. Is it autotune or just vocal layering or some other digital tool? I can’t believe Lee needed autotune in a studio where he can re-record until he gets it right.

  78. SS is definitely autotuned, but I don’t think the autotune was added because Lee couldn’t get the notes right. I think the producers added it to create a sound effect. IMO Lee sounds better in the parts where less autotune was used, which are the verses. Lee’s raspy voice just doesn’t work well with autotune.

  79. Claude Kelly (Mostly straight R&B)

    Claude Kelly co-wrote, My Life Would Suck Without You, Party in the USA, For Your Entertainment, Circus, David Archuleta’s Falling Stars, and a whole lot of other songs that are not R&B.

  80. If the singles tank it’ll be on Lee’s shoulders. His fans who are saying the debut single doesn’t “sound Lee” will have to back pedal since it obviously *is* Lee’s sound.

    While not a Lee fan, I find the song not like I expected. It’s more like an Archie B-side than the Idol DeWyze. Also the chorus so heavily produced it’s almost like another singer entirely. I don’t grasp the strategy here.

    I found the best songs on Kris’ album were generally written or co-written by him, not others, although obviously LLWD did very well. The Truth did not.

  81. only 11 songs? Is that normal for an American release? Do you think that there will be bonus releases like Wall-MArt?

    If I wanted to pick up a hard copy of this in where I live (assuming that it would ever be imported to Europe), I would end up paying 22-23 euros from it (about 25 dollars). That’s a lot per song!

    That’s one of the reasons european and Japanese versions usually have more songs; imports cost much and more songs mean added value without raising production costs. To me it feels like in America the producers have jumped right over the “added value for a hard copy” -idea and gone straight to the “people buy only the singles anyway so why bother”.

  82. The thinning of the track listings have been happening to a lot of artists in the industry, some labels even mandating a 10 song track list. It is to keep prices down so they can sell it at $9.99 or less out of the gate. I guess that is the label’s idea of how to get people to still buy albums. There is a iTunes pre order song not listed here and the assumption is there will be a wal-mart bonus song as well but that won’t be known until wal-mart reveals their track listing.

  83. Honestly I don’t know what this album will sound like.After some research,I think you can FORGET about Pop/R&B-THE REASON-19 is gearing Alex Lambert up for a Pop/R&B album-they had him record multiple tracks,so far with Harvey Mason Jr.,and separate sessions w/ the Avila Bros.-that’s as high-end as it gets in Pop/R&B,and some Pop/Soul.So-no way 19 will duplicate genres.I’m thinking most of Lee’s LP will be Pop/Rock;I was hoping for traditional Rock for Lee,but that seems unlikely ,given the writers…

  84. Is SS autotuned? I thought it was just electronified (if there is such a word haha!). If you’ve been listening to what’s current nowadays, it’s very popular. It’s been done for Lady Gaga and Usher and many other singers. I think Archie’s recent album had a song that had voice alteration as well. For SS, I think the voice was just altered slightly. It was nicely done. Not too much. Lee’s original voice is still there. If this is what it means by keeping up with times, it’s a good thing for Lee. I don’t want him to be singing outdated song/ style even if it’s a good song.

    Not too bothered with who co-wrote the first single first. Most important is Lee had a hand in writing his first single and RCA is giving him the recognition as a good songwriter that’s able to write current tunes. I listened to SS with an open and current mind and IMHO SS is a good ‘pop’ song and just goes to prove Lee’s ability to be a versatile singer and songwriter. Lee is still growing and his progression from So I’m Told to Slumberland to SS speaks for itself. I’m just waiting for the day Lee writes for other singers not just himself. In the meantime, I’m counting down the days to Live It Up. Can’t wait.

    ETA: I have to say I love SS. Listening to it always liven me up and makes me happy.

  85. It won’t matter who wrote or didn’t write if Lee can’t sing on key when he does his promos.

  86. What has writting got to do with singing? Lee was never off key to me. He’ll be fine singing live.

  87. Indeed-it does no one any good to put someone else down,perhaps to elevate yourself? Lee did fine performing live on Leno last summer-He’ll do well when promos start for the album…

  88. Boost his street cred by exaggerating his writing contributions, while recording a cookie-cutter pop album primarily written from the usual top-40 sources.

    Negativo, when did you get to hear the album? What makes it cookie-cutter pop? I’m jealous – I can’t wait to hear the songs on his album. Which songs were the most cookie-cutter pop to you?

  89. I’ll get excited when hear them. It’s not because it’s a co-write that Lee had a big input, and even if he had sole credits, there is also the production that can make all the difference to the final result.

  90. The off key issue keeps coming up and its getting annoying. I never heard it on the show, except maybe Kiss From a Rose. Since idol was over, Lee has performed many times live and, of course, on the tour. Not one reviewer said he was off key. Whatever was used for SS was to make the song as Jennyl said above, electronified!

  91. Well I think I’ve said this before but Lee does go off key in most of his idol performances. But so does everyone else. Just means that is extremely hard to be perfect live. Normally when you watch everyones performances over again, you hear more of the imperfect bits each time. Off the show, pre or post idol, Lee is hardly ever off key so if you only watched his idol performances, I can see why you may think he doesn’t sing that well. And his voice has all the cracks, which I love, but some people think they sound awful. It’s all cool, different strokes for different folks.

    However the ‘Lee can’t sing in tune at all’ baffles me. He wasn’t terribly off key during the show anyway. It was just a few lines in a song. It’s not like every performance he did was a KFAR.

    SS is autotuned but probably to create that popular-on-radio electronic feel. I agree it’s to make the song sound electronified (lol awesome term). I HIGHLY doubt it’s because he can’t hold the tune.

  92. It won’t matter who wrote or didn’t write if Lee can’t sing on key when he does his promos.

    This.

  93. I can’t believe Lee needed autotune in a studio where he can re-record until he gets it right.

    Two things. Yep, he could, but autotune might be quicker than doing some retakes, and what all these albums have most in common is: Quickie…. Plus, today on pop radio, autotuning is so common that it’s part of the “typical” “radio-friendly” sound, I expect. People expect to hear it, even when they have no idea what it is. So they might use it for people for that reason alone.

  94. i have to say, i’m really impressed and happy for lee! co-write cred on most of his songs (read that, all except for one), nice job. awhile back, when he kept saying that he was writing on most of his material, people were speculating that maybe he was just saying that or that the label might just be giving him false hopes -but apparently, he actually did. so i’m thinking that maybe we should trust him on this one, eh? also, interesting co-writes. i’m hoping that the album, given that he has alot more input than we thought, will have a cohesive feel, much like his previous 2 albums. this just really made me all the more excited for the album. i hope that there will be song snippets soon!

    “Normally when you watch everyones performances over again, you hear more of the imperfect bits each time. Off the show, pre or post idol, Lee is hardly ever off key so if you only watched his idol performances, I can see why you may think he doesn’t sing that well. And his voice has all the cracks, which I love, but some people think they sound awful. It’s all cool, different strokes for different folks.”

    ITA. i gather it’s really hard to sing live, especially in front of the judges & on live tv. heck, even lee said that goin on AI took him a little out of his element. however, his performances after the show took on another level and you can just see his happiness in playing, getting the chance to live his dream and his passion for music.

  95. jennyl: 10/21/2010 at 2:08 am
    Is SS autotuned? I thought it was just electronified (if there is such a word haha!). If you’ve been listening to what’s current nowadays, it’s very popular.

    jennyl, that’s absolutely right.

    Nowadays, music is mostly played on MP3 players, on the radio or with small speaker sets, -so to speak, on “small systems”. And then, they like to add equalization effects on a main vocal track, in order to make it sound outstanding on such systems. That is remarkable in genre of Pop, modern R&B, pop rock, kinds of music, where the density of sounds is relatively dense throughout a song.

    I think that the electro-esque effects on vocals of SS are not caused mainly by the pitch correction. Of course, some pitch correction was done, but I suspect, the effects were brought by a kind of combination of some equalizations. (I might not be right.)
    Anyway, it is obvious that the production of SS was strategically and elaborately designed. -even if you don’t like it.

    BTW, we can hear the typical Auto-Tune lapped vocals on almost pieces from ‘Glee’. There also, not because the singers cannot sing well, but they use the Auto-Tune for blend and homogenization of vocals of various singers.

  96. “SS is definitely autotuned, but I don’t think the autotune was added because Lee couldn’t get the notes right. I think the producers added it to create a sound effect. IMO Lee sounds better in the parts where less autotune was used, which are the verses. Lee’s raspy voice just doesn’t work well with autotune.”

    I agree. I just have seen many negative comments about Sweet Serendipity that imply autotune was necessary for pitch correction. I don’t buy it. I think we can agree that electro-esque effects were to add that typical radio-friendly sound.

    I can’t wait to hear Lee sing this live. He has to change it up just because of all the layering of vocals at the end and because Lee loves to change up all his songs. Did you see Use Somebody with Andrew yesterday? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmZjlA5S8I0 Another great version.

  97. I’ll second you, ldjfan I can’t wait to hear SS live. He’s going to make magic with it.

  98. That pretty much sums it up, Nabs :) That was fun to watch since it was well before he took the WIN! I hear a lot of Lee-layering vocals on SS but I’m not an auto-tune expert so not too sure where it is in the song….I personally don’t listen to it to critique stuff like that….I love listening to it cuz it’s one hell of a catchy tune!

  99. A disadvantage to having one producer for an album is that the songs often tend to sound too much alike

    Since that´s the norm (correct me if I´m wrong) I beg to differ. That would mean most all albums sound too much alike

  100. One producer/11 producers; autotune, schmautotune; cohesive/not cohesive…gosh, I just don’t care. Oh, and I don’t mean to discount all the discussion here. I’ve just grown to adore the new single so much (what fun!) including Lee’s voice on it and I’m at a place now where it all comes down to the only thing that matters – my sheer enjoyment/entertainment. Gotta face it, it’s all about ME! :)

  101. thank you so much, nabs!! that video made me wanna go through all his AI vids again, heh! yep, lee could really do a lot with his voice as even comments here have suggested -folk, soft rock, hard rock, blues.. yes, and even pop. and like you, heat914, i also don’t listen to music to critique it – that is just plain sad. if you love a song upon hearing it, then you do. if not, then you move on and look for something that will satisfy and touch you. life is too fun to waste on things that pain you.

    Since that´s the norm (correct me if I´m wrong) I beg to differ. That would mean most all albums sound too much alike

    don’t most albums sound too much alike to you? well, they do to me, imo. that’s why i rarely listen to whole albums of certain artists (even those that i really like). i just take what i what i want & discard the songs that i don’t like. but hey, i’m not saying that sounding alike in all your songs for an album is bad though, there may be people who like that kind of thing, i’m just not one of them. i like versatility or if i can see a story or a concept in a certain album, i listen to it from start to finish. last few albums that i have listened to from start to finish: KATA, john mayer’s battle studies, sara bareilles’ kaleidoscope heart & lee’s slumberland (i actually love it a smidge more than SIT).

    One producer/11 producers; autotune, schmautotune; cohesive/not cohesive…gosh, I just don’t care. Oh, and I don’t mean to discount all the discussion here. I’ve just grown to adore the new single so much (what fun!) including Lee’s voice on it and I’m at a place now where it all comes down to the only thing that matters – my sheer enjoyment/entertainment. Gotta face it, it’s all about ME! :)

    this! thanks, bamintx! :)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.