Top 8 iTunes Performance Review – Just Say No to Strings

The iTunes recordings are typically over-produced, but I’m hearing even more this week.   Dial it back Rickey!   The arrangements threaten to overpower the Idols’ vocals–not a good thing.

My favorite this week:   Adam Lambert’s haunting and ethereal “Mad World”

  • Danny Gokey – …Stand by Me by Mickey Gilley – The strings, the horns–too much, too much!   I liked the live performance arrangement, but it’s all a little overpowering on record.   Danny’s got a couple of vocal tics I hate–“me” is not a three syllable word!   But over all, nice vocal, good phrasing. – iTunes
  • Kris Allen – …All She Wants to Do is Dance by Don Henley   – This arrangement is a fussy awful mess. The vocal is decent, but Kris, taking cues from the Gokey school of enunciation thinks “heat” is a three syllable word.   Props to Kris for changing things up, but what’s going on here isn’t working. Still love Kris, but not this. – iTunes
  • Lil Rounds – …What Love Got to Do With It by Tina Turner – With the pitchy stuff auto tuned out, Lil’s take on Tina is pleasant karaoke. But, not anything I would remember 5 minutes after I heard it. – iTunes
  • Anoop Desai – …True Colors by Cyndi Lauper – The sappy strings and background vocals take away from Anoop’s pretty, pretty vocals.   This would have killed with a stripped down arrangement. But Anoop still sounds fantastic.- iTunes
  • Scott MacIntyre – …The Search is Over by Survivor – Even more sappy strings here, threatening to overtake Scott’s sweetly inoffensive vocals. Way to take the power out of a power ballad. Yuck. Even my dentist would reject this snoozefest. – iTunes
  • Allison Iraheta – …I Cant Make You Love Me by Bonnie Raitt – Again, the loud strings threaten to drown her out. But, in the end, plucky Allison wins the battle. Her phrasing, interpretation and vocals are spot on. I prefer the live version, but Allison’s vocals make it worth the download. – iTunes
  • Matt Giraud – …Part Time Lover by Stevie Wonder – For the first time, I’m giving Matt’s live performance the edge over the recorded version. The live arrangement had a little more verve, but if you liked it live, definitely download the performance. – iTunes
  • Adam Lambert – …Mad World by Tears for Fears  – The arrangement is wisely kept simple here–just piano, a few strings and some reverb. Just like the live performance, the recording is gorgeous, haunting and Adam’s moving interpretation unforgettable. – iTunes
About mj santilli 34832 Articles
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!