American Idol Season 4: The Showstoppers

American Idol Season 4: The Showstoppers

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The 12 finalists from Season 4 of American Idol represent some of the best contestants in the popular talent show's three-year run. Highlights of The Showstoppers include Bo Bice's rockin' rendition of "I Don't Wanna Be," Carrie Underwood's country rendering of "Independence Day," and Vonzell Solomon's sassy and soulful "Best of My Love."See more details below

Overview

The 12 finalists from Season 4 of American Idol represent some of the best contestants in the popular talent show's three-year run. Highlights of The Showstoppers include Bo Bice's rockin' rendition of "I Don't Wanna Be," Carrie Underwood's country rendering of "Independence Day," and Vonzell Solomon's sassy and soulful "Best of My Love."

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
The American Idol cast album for season four arrived about a month later than it did for season two and season three. Instead of appearing during the thick of competition, as it did in 2003 and 2004, it was released the week before the final episode in May, when it was pretty clear that, barring some earth-shaking upset, either Carrie Underwood or Bo Bice was going to be our next "American Idol." Because of this, American Idol Season 4 winds up as a stroll down memory lane, or perhaps a chance to see if Lindsey Cardinale or Mikalah Gordon should have stuck around a little bit longer than they did. The album almost forces a listener to reminisce about the season past, because unlike the theme-based sets for seasons two and three, this is a collection of songs the 12 contestants performed on the show. While the Showstoppers subtitle suggests that this is the best of the best for each of the contestants, it's hard to believe that the lead-footed "Knock on Wood" was the best that Lindsey Cardinale had to offer (that said, it did stop the show dead in its tracks). In any case, this is a good representation of what the show was all about in 2005, and listening to it, it's hard not to think that this was indeed the best batch of singers American Idol had ever had, as Randy Jackson proclaims every year of the show. In the past, many of the contestants were more impressive on TV than they were on record, sounding thin and faceless, but here, only a handful of the singers seem diminished in the recording studio. Among these is poor Cardinale, of course, who sounds as ill at ease as ever, and she's joined by Mikalah Gordon, who confirms that, at her best, she sounds like Fran Drescher singing torch songs. Good guy Anwar Robinson seems even more mannered on record than he did on the stage, and everybody's favorite Midwestern farm thug, Scott Savol -- we all better pray that there aren't a million of him walking around Ohio -- sounds thin and weak here, even though he's drowning in reverb. Vonzell Solomon, whose irrepressible bouncy spirit makes her an endearing presence on the show, is pleasant but forgettable here; the rest of the crew, however, do make a memorable impression on record. Nikko Smith is more forceful here than he was on the show, Anthony Fedorov has more charisma than Clay Aiken, Constantine Maroulis vamps up "My Funny Valentine" as effectively on record as he did on the show, while Jessica Sierra's powerful "Total Eclipse of the Heart" is so good, it's hard not to wish that she stayed around until the "final three." But even if she did, Bice's and Cardinale's contributions suggest that she wouldn't have stood a ghost of a chance against them. While Bo Bice was much, much better when singing the Allman Brothers on the show, his reading of Gavin DeGraw's "I Don't Want to Be" is closer to what he'll wind up singing on his debut record, and he's every bit as memorable as DeGraw himself here. But it's Carrie Underwood who's the real shocker here. She'd always been good on the show, but at times she could seem a little mechanical in her delivery. Here, singing Martina McBride's "Independence Day," she sounds alive and engaged, and it makes for the best performance here, and a good indication that she could make a pretty good album. So, all in all, a pretty good season for American Idol, then. At the very least, it made for one of the better cast albums from the series.

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Product Details

Release Date:
05/17/2005
Label:
Rca
UPC:
0828766884425
catalogNumber:
68844
Rank:
228554

Tracks

  1. Independence Day  - Carrie Underwood
  2. I Don't Want to Be  - Bo Bice
  3. Best of My Love  - Vonzell Solomon
  4. A House Is Not a Home  - Anwar Robinson
  5. You Don't Have to Say You Love Me  - Nadia Turner
  6. Part-Time Lover  - Nikko Smith
  7. My Funny Valentine  - Constantine Maroulis
  8. Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)  - Jessica Sierra
  9. Everytime You Go Away  -  Anthony Federov
  10. Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)  -  Scott Savol
  11. Knock On Wood  -  Lindsey Cardinale
  12. God Bless the Child  - Mikalah Gordon
  13. When You Tell Me That You Love Me  -  Ensemble

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

David Peel   French Horn
Desmond Child   Background Vocals
Maria Vidal   Background Vocals
Kenny Aronoff   Drums
Kim Bullard   Organ,Piano,Keyboards
Ed Calle   Saxophone
Randy Cantor   Bass,Guitar,Keyboards,Lap Steel Guitar
Doug Emery   Keyboards
Ray Herrmann   Saxophone
Nick Lane   Trombone
Lee Levin   Drums
Michael Lord   Organ,Guitar,Keyboards
John Pierce   Bass
Yogi   Guitar
Matt Laug   Drums
John Kricker   Trombone
Dan Warner   Guitar
Jeff Babko   fender rhodes
Jim Hacker   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Jorgen Carlsson   Bass
Harry "Slick" Sommerdahl   Keyboards
David Rolfe   Bass,Guitar,Piano
Jeanette Olsson   Background Vocals
Corky James   Bass,Guitar
Mikalah Gordon   Background Vocals
Erik Eldenious   Drums
Storm Lee   Background Vocals
Anthony Fedorov   Background Vocals,Track Performer
Anwar Robinson   Background Vocals,Track Performer
Bo Bice   Background Vocals,Track Performer
Carrie Underwood   Background Vocals,Track Performer
Constantine Maroulis   Background Vocals,Track Performer
Scott Soval   Track Performer
Vonzell Solomon   Track Performer
Nadia Turner   Background Vocals,Track Performer
Nikko Smith   Background Vocals,Track Performer
Jessica Sierra   Background Vocals,Track Performer
Scott Savol   Background Vocals
Lindsey Cardinale   Background Vocals
Jim Peel   French Horn
Tim Pitchford   Trombone
Vonzeli Soloman   Background Vocals
Chris Tedesco   Trumpet

Technical Credits

Phil Collins   Composer
Steve Cropper   Composer
Eddie Floyd   Composer
Maurice White   Composer
Desmond Child   Producer
Albert Hammond   Composer
Maria Vidal   Vocal Producer
John Bettis   Composer
Billie Holiday   Composer
Kim Bullard   Programming,String Arrangements
Ed Calle   Engineer,Horn Arrangements
Randy Cantor   Programming,Engineer
Dave Dale   Engineer
Doug Emery   Programming
Arthur Herzog   Composer
Rob Jacobs   Engineer
Nick Lane   Horn Arrangements
Michael Lord   Programming,Engineer,String Arrangements
McKay   Composer
John Merchant   Engineer
Gretchen Peters   Composer
Matt Gruber   Engineer
Harry "Slick" Sommerdahl   Programming
Joe Yannece   Mastering
Bryan Golder   Engineer
Giuseppe Donaggio   Composer
Anthony Kilhoffer   Engineer
Jules Gondar   Engineer
David Rolfe   Programming,Engineer
Vito Pallavicini   Composer
Tal Herzberg   Engineer
Gavin DeGraw   Composer
Simon Fuller   Management
Jay Ruston   Engineer
Mikal Blue   Engineer
Stephen Crook   Engineer
Jacob Miller   Vocal Producer

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