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

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

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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 IdolSee more details below

Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

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:
04/29/2003
Label:
Rca
UPC:
0828765116923
catalogNumber:
51169

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. What the World Needs Now @@Season 2 American Idol 10 Finalists
  2. Superstar @@Ruben Studdard
  3. On the Wings of Love @@Clay Aiken
  4. At Last @@Julia DeMato
  5. Three Times a Lady @@Joshua Gracin
  6. Let's Stay Together @@Trenyce
  7. Back at One @@Rickey Smith
  8. Killing Me Softly With His Song @@Kimberly Caldwell
  9. Open Arms @@Corey Clark
  10. How Do I Live @@Carmen Rasmusen
  11. Over the Rainbow @@Kimberley Locke
  12. Overjoyed @@Charles Grigsby
  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   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
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
Peter Myers   Arranger
Jeffrey Osborne   Composer
Peter Schless   Composer
Robin Sellars   Engineer
Diane Warren   Composer
Harry Warren   Composer
Stevie Wonder   Composer
Gavyn Wright   Orchestra Leader
Nigel Wright   Arranger,Producer
Dave Arch   String Arrangements
Al Jackson   Composer
Anne Skates   Choir Arrangement
Rolf Wilson   Orchestra Leader
Adam Brown   Engineer
Wayne Wilkins   Engineer
David Ashton   Engineer
Alex Reverberi   Engineer
Peter Murray   String Arrangements
Postmaster   Programming
Christopher Tombling   Orchestra Leader
James McMillan   Arranger,Producer

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