American Idol Season 2: All-Time Classic American Love Songs

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Barnes & Noble - Tracy E. Hopkins
Hot on the heels of Kelly Clarkson's chart-topping full-length disc, Thankful, comes American Idol Season 2: All-Time Classic American Love Songs, the second compilation spawned by the popular reality-TV series that made Clarkson a household name. Like Season 1's American Idol Greatest Moments, the disc features songs from each of the ten finalists, who do their best interpretations of pop and soul hits. Standout contestants Ruben "Luther Vandross Jr." Studdard and future Broadway headliner Clay Aiken shine on renditions of "Superstar" and "On the Wings of Love," respectively. And as AI judge Randy Jackson would put it, momentum-gaining contestant Kimberly Locke ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Tracy E. Hopkins
Hot on the heels of Kelly Clarkson's chart-topping full-length disc, Thankful, comes American Idol Season 2: All-Time Classic American Love Songs, the second compilation spawned by the popular reality-TV series that made Clarkson a household name. Like Season 1's American Idol Greatest Moments, the disc features songs from each of the ten finalists, who do their best interpretations of pop and soul hits. Standout contestants Ruben "Luther Vandross Jr." Studdard and future Broadway headliner Clay Aiken shine on renditions of "Superstar" and "On the Wings of Love," respectively. And as AI judge Randy Jackson would put it, momentum-gaining contestant Kimberly Locke "did her thang, dawg," on her riveting rendering of "Over the Rainbow." Honorable mention goes to seductress Trenyce with her sassy take on Al Green's "Let's Stay Together," Joshua Gracin's urban cowboy spin on the Commodores' "Three Times a Lady," and Rickey "Hercules, Hercules" Smith with a soaring version of Brian McKnight's "Back at One." Rounding out the disc are two ensemble songs, including Burt Bacharach's credulously wholesome "What the World Needs Now," that also feature deservedly booted contestants Carmen "How Did I Make It to the Finals" Rasmusen, Corey "Bad Boy" Clark, Kimberly "Theme Park Entertainer-Bound" Caldwell, and Julia "Drama Queen" Demato. Somewhere, smarmy Brit judge Simon Cowell is cringing, but thanks to some quality studio time -- as the painfully positive Paula Abdul would say -- even they score touchdowns. And by the time this season's winner and finalists have overstayed their 15-minute welcome, Season 3 will already be underway.
All Music Guide - Heather Phares
Building on the hype and excitement from the debut season of the populist pop star search American Idol and its subsequent CDs, American Idol Season 2: All-Time Classic American Love Songs presents the first recordings from 11 of the 12 finalists -- unfortunately, firecracker Vanessa Olivares, the first finalist voted off, isn't featured here -- as well as two ensemble performances. As the title suggests, the collection features studio versions of the songs the finalists sang for the "All-American Love Songs" theme night, and despite the somewhat pedestrian arrangements of the songs, each finalist does manage to put their imprint on their song, for better or worse. A somewhat top-loaded album, the collection offers songs from the show's two strongest contenders after beginning with the pleasant but unspectacular version of "What the World Needs Now Is Love" that the finalists performed with Burt Bacharach. As usual, Ruben Stoddard sounds polished but emotive on his cover of "Superstar," while Clay Aiken, whose voice sounds a little thinner on this recording than it does on the show, turns in a smooth version of "On the Wings of Love." From there the collection almost has nowhere to go but downhill, which it does to greater and lesser degrees with songs like Julia Demato's "At Last." Her voice is pretty, but too thin and bland to take on the Etta James classic, and in retrospect it's pretty clear why she was voted off relatively early in the show; likewise, Charles Grigsby has a sweet, pure-sounding voice that isn't quite up to the task of mastering Stevie Wonder's "Overjoyed." On the studio version of "Three Times a Lady," Joshua Gracin sounds richer and more controlled than on TV, but still not quite as distinctive as the show's best performers. This indistinct quality plagues several of the songs, including Trenyce's "Let's Stay Together" and Rickey Smith's "Back at One," which is unusual considering that both of these singers turned in some of the better performances on the show; on the other hand, some of the more uneven singers turn in some of the album's more assured tracks, such as Kimberly Caldwell's "Killing Me Softly With His Song" and Carmen Rasmusen's "How Do I Live Without You." Kimberley Locke's smoky, professional-sounding version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" predicts her likely bronze-medal finish on the show, but still doesn't reflect the amazing amount of growth she experienced as a singer and a performer after the track was recorded. The album closes with an ensemble rendition of "God Bless the U.S.A. Proud to Be an American," which is about as stiff as the album-opening performance, but also underscores the patriotic theme that has influenced American Idol's second season. Aside from collecting performances from most of the finalists for fans who were sorry to see their favorite go sooner than they would have liked, American Idol Season 2: All-Time Classic Love Songs also emphasizes the strengths and weaknesses in the talents of the show's best performers; while it remains to be seen if Ruben Stoddard, Clay Aiken, and Kimberley Locke have the versatility of last season's winner, Kelly Clarkson, or the charisma of Tamyra Gray and Justin Guarini, it will be interesting to see where they go from here.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/29/2003
  • Label: Rca
  • UPC: 828765116923
  • Catalog Number: 51169

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 What the World Needs Now @@Season 2 American Idol 10 Finalists
  2. 2 Superstar @@Ruben Studdard
  3. 3 On the Wings of Love @@Clay Aiken
  4. 4 At Last @@Julia DeMato
  5. 5 Three Times a Lady @@Joshua Gracin
  6. 6 Let's Stay Together @@Trenyce
  7. 7 Back at One @@Rickey Smith
  8. 8 Killing Me Softly With His Song @@Kimberly Caldwell
  9. 9 Open Arms @@Corey Clark
  10. 10 How Do I Live @@Carmen Rasmusen
  11. 11 Over the Rainbow @@Kimberley Locke
  12. 12 Overjoyed @@Charles Grigsby
  13. 13 God Bless the U.S.A. (Proud to Be An American) @@Season 2 American Idol 10 Finalalists
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Burt Bacharach Conductor
Debra Byrd Choir Conductor
David Coy Bass
Dave Crigger Drums
Alec Dankworth Bass
Paul Jackson Jr. Guitar
Ralph Salmins Drums
Graham Ward Drums
Nigel Wright Conductor
Dave Arch Conductor
Mark Jaimes Bass, Guitar, Bass Guitar
Peter Murray Piano, Conductor, Keyboards
Ruben Studdard Vocals
Clay Aiken Vocals
Julia DeMato Vocals
Josh Gracin Vocals
Kimberly Caldwell Vocals
Corey Clark Vocals
Carmen Rasmusen Vocals
Kimberley Locke Vocals
Trenyce Vocals
Charles Grigsby Vocals
Postmaster Bass
Technical Credits
Lee Greenwood Composer
Al Green Composer
Steve Perry Composer
Lionel Richie Composer
Leon Russell Composer
Bonnie Bramlett Composer
Harold Arlen Composer
Burt Bacharach Arranger, Composer, Producer
Jonathan Cain Composer
Willie Mitchell Composer
Brian McKnight Composer
Debra Byrd Choir Contractor
Hal David Composer
Charles Fox Composer
Norman Gimbel Composer
Mack Gordon Composer
E.Y. "Yip" Harburg Composer
Richard Marx Composer
Peter Myers Arranger
Jeffrey Osborne Composer
Jonn Savannah Digital Editing
Peter Schless Composer
Eddy Schreyer Mastering
Robin Sellars Engineer
Diane Warren Composer
Harry Warren Composer
Stevie Wonder Composer
Gavyn Wright Orchestra Leader
Nigel Wright Arranger, Producer
Alan Yoshida Mastering
Dave Arch String Arrangements
Al Jackson Jr. Composer
Rail Jon Rogut Digital Editing
Anne Skates Choir Arrangement
Rolf Wilson Orchestra Leader
Adam Brown Engineer
Lee McCutcheon Digital Editing
Wayne Wilkins Engineer
David Ashton Engineer, Digital Editing
Alex Reverberi Engineer
Peter Murray String Arrangements
Chandler Bridges Digital Editing
Postmaster Programming
Christopher Tombling Orchestra Leader
James McMillan Arranger, Producer
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

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(7)

4 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    super

    kimbrly caldwell rocks but the prson who relly made this cd great was clay, and julia.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of the best albums this year

    This CD presents some of the best performances of each of the American Idol finalists. There are no weak performances. Clay and Ruben are great, as is to be expected, but Julia DeMato's rendition of "At Last" really blew me away. I would like to hear more from her in the future. Kimberley Locke, Trenyce and Kimberly Caldwell also gave memorable performances.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Top Five Simply ROCK!

    This year's AI album outshines last year's like a candle to the field lights at Yankee Stadium during a lunar eclipse! The finalists are truly fermenting their skills. Even Ms. DaMato makes you want to ask of last year's winner, "Kelley Who?" Unlike last year where Justin and Tamyra had to carry the whole load to make a decent sound, this year's album is first rate because the finalists this year are first rate. They really click. I expect more great things from the new "Fab Five."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    THIS IS THE BEST!!!

    I really like American Idol, and I really like this cd, but I totally thought Clay should have won. I mean, as an American Idol, you want someone you can see as your hero, right??? Well, I think Clay was way better suited to be the American Idol. I'm not prejudiced against black people at all, so don't be thinking that's why I didn't like Ruben, and I'm not prejudiced against fat people, either, cause my dad is really big. It's just you want someone you can trust as the American Idol, and Ruben seems very unstable, and very sweaty and nervous. Although Ruben won the majority of the votes of America to be the American Idol, Clay is my idol! Go CLAY!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    wow!

    I love this Cd! Clay Aiken is so amazing! he is my american idol, always and forever! he has such an amazing voice, plus hes just so cute!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    On The Wings of Love

    Clay Aiken's On the Wings of Love is the best song on the cd. He has the voice of an angel that takes you up on the wings of love!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This CD ROCKS!

    This CD ROCKS!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews