Taylor Hicks

( 64 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Dave Gil de Rubio
Taylor Hicks, the oldest contestant to take the American Idol crown, won Season 5 with an affable, wedding singer persona and a repertoire of soul-influenced material that included Ray Charles, Joe Cocker, and Elvis Presley. Taylor's inspired take on "In the Ghetto" was a highlight of the season and earned this son of the South favorable comparisons to the King. And while there are no Presley chestnuts on Hicks's self-titled major-label debut, there are plenty of nods to this Birmingham native's rhythm and blues influences. On "Heaven Knows," Hicks interweaves punchy horns and handclaps with instrumental snippets of Marvin Gaye's "Ain't That Peculiar" and Ray ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Dave Gil de Rubio
Taylor Hicks, the oldest contestant to take the American Idol crown, won Season 5 with an affable, wedding singer persona and a repertoire of soul-influenced material that included Ray Charles, Joe Cocker, and Elvis Presley. Taylor's inspired take on "In the Ghetto" was a highlight of the season and earned this son of the South favorable comparisons to the King. And while there are no Presley chestnuts on Hicks's self-titled major-label debut, there are plenty of nods to this Birmingham native's rhythm and blues influences. On "Heaven Knows," Hicks interweaves punchy horns and handclaps with instrumental snippets of Marvin Gaye's "Ain't That Peculiar" and Ray Charles' "What'd I Say." Elsewhere, Hicks puts his pliable tenor to good use on a cover of Gaye's "Wherever I Lay My Hat" that radiates an ethereal and thoughtful ambiance reminiscent of Rod Stewart's "Forever Young." Brother Ray gets a further nod via "The Right Place," a gospel-flavored slow burner originally penned for the late legend by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance; Hicks infuses the song with a raspy, unforced growl. Alongside numbers contributed by the likes of professional songwriters Dianne Warren and Rob Thomas, the prematurely gray vocalist holds his own with two self-penned cuts originally recorded for his second independent release, Under the Radar. His fans call themselves the Soul Patrol, and Hicks's R&B- and rock-infused album reveals him to be the most multi-talented American Idol winner to date.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Out of all the millions of words that have been written about American Idol, one topic that's never fully addressed is how the show winds up finding and filling America's forgotten pop music needs. Genres that have been banished from the airwaves for one reason or another -- usually because they didn't fit within the strictly regimented confines of corporate radio -- have resurfaced on the show, whether it's unabashedly square middle of the road pop, old-fashioned deep soul, Southern rock or blue-eyed soul. This may not have been true of the show's first season when the two finalists, Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini pretty much fit the bill for TV-produced pop stars -- clean and cute, singing dance-pop designed for the teenagers everyone assumed were AmIdol's core audience -- but things started to veer off track in the show's second season when squeaky-clean Clay Aiken and soul crooner Ruben Studdard constituted the top two. Instead of being a fluke, this was the beginning of American Idol's celebration of neglected styles, leading to the barnstorming soul of Fantasia Barrino in season three, the Southern rock of Bo Bice in season four, and then the white-haired, blue-eyed soul belter Taylor Hicks, who unexpectedly took the top honors in season five. At first glance Hicks sure didn't seem like an American Idol: with that prematurely white hair and his slightly hefty frame, he seemed like somebody's dad trying to pass as an AmIdol contestant, which was part of his charm. But charm alone doesn't win a singing competition, and Hicks had real power as a singer, blessed with a husky, soulful growl that displayed a clear Ray Charles' influence but an even heavier debt to Joe Cocker and Michael McDonald, two singers raised on Motown and R&B who still retained a soulful edge when they eased into soft rock later in their careers. Hicks picked up on this trick of Cocker and McDonald's, how they could still sound passionate while singing schmaltz, and that helped propel him toward the American Idol championship, but even though he took the crown, there was a huge question looming over the release of his debut album: would 19 Entertainment, Clive Davis and all the powers that be behind the scenes at American Idol let Hicks stay true to the gifts he displayed on the show, or would they shoehorn him into a sound that doesn't suit him, the way they did with Bice on his debut The Real Thing? Bice served as a cautionary tale for Hicks and his producers, since he was another Alabama boy who shined on AmIdol because he was bringing back a Southern sound not heard on the radio, but when it came time for his debut he was forced into a stilted modern rock that not only didn't suit him musically, but it ignored the very reason why audiences loved him on the show: they loved him because he didn't sound like everybody else on the radio, but on The Real Thing, his producers tried to make him sound like everybody else, and failed miserably. The same thing could have happened to Hicks, since he also didn't sound like anybody else on the radio in 2006, but fortunately, everybody involved in Hicks' debut do not try to force modernity upon him: they let Taylor be Taylor. Which doesn't necessarily mean that Taylor Hicks is nothing but a Doobie Brothers album in disguise: it certainly has tracks that fit within the confines of adult contemporary radio in 2006, but they never feel as crass or formulaic as "Do I Make You Feel Proud," his post-Idol chart-topper that found him straining against the constraints of AC conventions. Cuts that are nothing more than professional and pleasant -- mainly ballads, such as the plodding yet anthemic "Just to Feel That Way" and the Diane Warren-penned "Places I've Been," which was written with Hicks' back story in mind but nevertheless feels formulaic, but also an overly slick cover of Marvin Gaye's "Wherever I Lay My Hat" -- account for about a third of Taylor Hicks, and while they're little more than the perfectly fine fodder of a waiting room, Hicks does not sound uncomfortable singing them. Indeed, he invests them with just enough personality that they're more engaging than the bland yet pretty ballads that pass as modern soft rock, and their inclusion here makes commercial sense; these are the tunes that play by the rules of modern adult pop, and Hicks performs them as a pro without losing his personality. In contrast, the rest of Taylor Hicks is a throwback -- not necessarily a throwback to the Motown and '60s pop that he sang on Idol, but rather to the soft rock and blue-eyed soul of the '70s and '80s, which itself was informed by the spirit of the '60s. And at its best -- and it's frequently very good, even excellent -- Taylor Hicks resembles nothing so much as a forgotten '80s soft rock album, a blend of Michael McDonald, Bridge-era Billy Joel, Hall & Oates and Steve Winwood's Roll with It that certainly satisfies any hopes that Hicks would indeed make a record that could be called Yacht Rock for the new millennium. Digitally polished though it may be, there's a lived-in warmth to the performances of Hicks and his studio pros, and producer Matt Serletic, who made his name helming records for Matchbox Twenty, is sharp enough to retain that feel even when he's building tracks upon samples, as he does on "Heaven Knows," which reworks Ray Charles' "What I'd Say" into an addictive, danceable piece of modern soul-pop. This gives Taylor Hicks a sound that's appealing on its own merits, but what makes the record work are the songs that evoke the past yet still sound fresh. Occasionally, this means something that's been unearthed, like "Gonna Move," a light, laid-back number found on Paul Pena's cult 1973 soul album New Train, but for the most part these are newly-written songs by professional songwriters. Matchbox Twenty's Rob Thomas is the only writer who attempts to bridge the gap between Hicks' retro-soul and contemporary pop, and he does so very well with "Dream Myself Awake," but the best stuff here are the songs that simply revive soulful sounds, whether it's Bryan Adams' surprisingly successful gospel-inflected closer "The Right Place," the neo-duet "Give Me Tonight" or, most of all, the absolutely terrific opener "The Runaround," a propulsive throwback to '80s soul-pop that's as good as any hit Michael McDonald had in that decade. As good as any of these professionally written tunes are Hicks' two originals -- the funky "Soul Thing" and the closest thing to genuine old-fashioned Southern soul, the quite wonderful "The Deal" -- revived and re-recorded from a pre-Idol independent album he made that show him as a solid writer in addition to being an inspired deal. Their inclusion also shows that he, assisted by some smart pros, can make the songs of others fit his musical style, which makes this debut somewhat of a subversive success: he's created an album that fits all of American Idol's requirements -- it's big, clean, catchy and commercial -- without losing his own identity, so he's sneaked blue-eyed soul back into the mainstream. But he never would have gotten this chance if American Idol's huge audience didn't recognize that he had this talent and if they didn't realize that he was making music that they had forgotten to hear, and fortunately, 19 Entertainment, in turn, realized this and let Taylor Hicks make an album that will surely satisfy anybody who loved to hear him on the show, and an album that stands as one of the best Idol-related records yet made.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/12/2006
  • Label: Sony Mod - Afw Line
  • UPC: 828768798423
  • Catalog Number: 87984
  • Sales rank: 407,045

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 The Runaround (3:12)
  2. 2 Dream Myself Awake (3:37)
  3. 3 Heaven Knows (3:34)
  4. 4 Gonna Move (4:22)
  5. 5 Wherever I Lay My Hat (3:31)
  6. 6 Give Me Tonight (3:34)
  7. 7 Just to Feel That Way (3:10)
  8. 8 The Maze (2:47)
  9. 9 Places I've Been (3:29)
  10. 10 Soul Thing (3:19)
  11. 11 The Deal (3:16)
  12. 12 The Right Place (3:15)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Taylor Hicks Primary Artist, Harmonica, Drums, Background Vocals, Soloist
Louis Price Background Vocals
Rusty Anderson Guitar
Curt Bisquera Drums
Stevie Blacke Strings, Cello, Lap Steel Guitar
Chris Bruce Bass, Guitar
Paul Bushnell Bass
Lenny Castro Percussion
Reggie Hamilton Electric Bass, Upright Bass
James Harrah Guitar
Nick Lane Trombone
Greg Leisz Pedal Steel Guitar, Lap Steel Guitar, Soloist
Eric Marienthal Tenor Saxophone
Jamie Muhoberac Organ, Piano, Keyboards, Clavier, Wurlitzer
Joseph Powell Background Vocals
Lee Thornburg Trumpet
Patrick Warren Keyboards
Oren Waters Background Vocals
Terry Young Background Vocals
Kara DioGuardi Background Vocals
Leland Sklar Bass
Greg Adams Trumpet
Matt Serletic Keyboards, Background Vocals, Wurlitzer
Mark Hollingsworth Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Soloist
Tom Leonard Background Vocals
Kevin Kadish Organ
Jason Migas Morales Background Vocals
Nikisha Grier Background Vocals
Almost Exhausted Tabernacle Choir Background Vocals
Matt Tryggestad Background Vocals
Weekend Warrior's Drum Corps Drums
Johnny Bamont Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Judith Hill Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Marvin Gaye Composer
Smokey Robinson Composer
Barrett Strong Composer
Jess Cates Composer
Scott Cutler Composer
Pete Davis Programming
Stephen Marcussen Mastering
Warren "Pete" Moore Composer
Jamie Muhoberac Contributor
Alexander Richbourg Programming
Jess Sutcliffe Engineer
Jim Vallance Composer
Diane Warren Composer
Norman Whitfield Composer
Rob Thomas Composer
Kara DioGuardi Composer
Greg Adams Horn Arrangements
Mark Dobson Engineer
Corey Rooney Composer, Original Concept
Matt Serletic Composer, Producer, Horn Arrangements, Audio Production
Emanuel Kiriakou Composer
Brent Paschke Digital Editing
Anne Preven Composer
Greg Collins Engineer
Lindy Robbins Composer
John Hanes Digital Editing
Patrick Woodward Engineer
James Renald Composer
Kevin Kadish Composer
Makeba Riddick Composer
John OBrien Programming
Taylor Hicks Composer
Rhea Willis Groomer
Paul "Earthquake" Pena Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 64 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(49)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 64 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Something to get you rockin

    Gritty, soulful, tender, hyper, foot tapping are all words I would use to describe Taylor Hick's new CD. I bring him to the gym with me while I run on the treadmill. He can really get my energy up with his lively music and I just love his voice.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    Despite a few songs with rather ridiculous lyrics, Taylor's unique voice and personality shine through on this album. Although he is best as a live performer, his voice translates well onto a CD. My favorite songs? The Runaround, and The Right Place. Soul Patrolers will mostly love this album, while others may find themselves surprised.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Promising first major label debut

    Even though this CD was somewhat rushed, I give Taylor Hicks 5 stars for his powerful vocals that convey so much emotion and are refreshingly unique in today's mainstream music scene. This CD offers a great overview of the versatility for which Taylor was already known for during American Idol as well as in his pre-idol performances. This man can definitely sing anything, but the true beauty of his voice and talent shines through in the soulful ballads of which the Right Place is a prime example on this collection. The Deal and Soul Thing are other beautiful examples of Taylor's true talent and give us a glimpse of what he may have in store for us in the future. Having given these highlights, I must say that there is not a song on this CD that does not captivate me at one time or another. There is something to listen to no matter what mood I am in.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Taylor is tops

    This album's Title Taylor Hicks. What can you say you get what you see that's whoooo he is. It has great moving songs. My daughter and I love to dance and sing along. I would enjoy buying other CD's by Taylor Hicks!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    EWW

    Bad on Idol, Horrible on disk!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    some of cd excellent some out of place

    I thought songs 5-7 & 9-11 awesome.Songs 1-4 & 8 & 12 were awful they didnty suite his voice at all wrong songs for him to be singing. George Bretzlaff

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Taylor Hicks

    I was so excited for this album to come out. Having been a devoted member of the "Soul Patrol" when Taylor was on Idol, I expected this CD to be fantastic! But instead, it was cringe-worthy. Listening to it makes me wonder how in the world Taylor won American Idol... there is absolutely no emotion coming from his voice when singing these songs. There is also no creativity, originality, or or effort put into this album. I guess that was a waste of money...

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Taylor Hicks

    This cd only improves as you listen to it, and it starts out wonderfully. Kudos to Taylor Hicks. And congrats to the listeners as we are all blessed by his talent. "Blue eyed soul" had been gone far too long...it is a great day for music lovers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A great album to put on repeat

    Taylor Hicks has stayed true to his soul and put out an album that you could listen to all day. The songs are well-written, heartfelt, and performed with all the soul that won Taylor the American Idol title. A unique and talented performer, Hicks has given us an album that is a real treat for all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    IT'S LIKE GOING BACK HOME

    What a feeling this cd gives me every song is wonderful. I expected it to be good but not this great. Taylor is his own person with his own sound. Welcome aboard Taylor your in for a long ride. I am 65 and it gives me memories from every decade. I have it turned up on my car cd player,my sun roof open and rocking to the music. It is funny when someone passes and sees it is an older person. I am now not only joining AARP I am joining the Soul Patrol.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Awesome!

    I can't get these songs out of my head. I've been waiting ever since Taylor won in May for this album and I'm not disappointed. It's nice to have songs that you can sing along with and dance to. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys R&B music with some disco and rock thrown in for good measure.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This cd has a little bit of everything for everyone

    This is one of the few cds I can listen to from start to finish without skipping past a song or two. It's very upbeat-it's get up on your feet and have a good time kind of music. There's a few love ballads on here and a jazzy number too. My favorite is the soulful "The Right Thing" it gives me goose bumps. "Soul Thing" is classic Taylor! I can hear this cd played on pop radio-country-adult comtemporary and easy listening radio.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This is a TERRIFIC debut!

    I loved Taylor on American Idol and voted for him every week but I was worried that American Idol would try to change him when he was ready to make a post-American Idol album. It was better than my expectations. Every song is wonderful. Especially "The Right Place" and "Just to Feel that Way". Even if you never watched American Idol you should check this album out. I like this album even better than Kelly Clarkson's albums. Do not listen to those who trash Taylor because they just either hate American Idol in general or just mad that their favorite didn't win. They are just losers who have no life and have nothing better to do than come on here and trash him, and many base thier dislike for Taylor on nothing. 5/5 GREAT ALBUM!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Love it Love it LOOOOOVE it!!!!

    This album is one of my favorite! His voice just hypnotizes me when i listen to him sing. Some of these songs sound kinda like Rod Stewart songs. I love him too. I love every song on this cd and the way he sings it. Sexy...sexy voice!!! He is so gorgeous and i hope to buy many more of his albums! GO SOUL PATROL!!!! WOOOO We love ya in Mississippi!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Great First Effort

    I was extremely impressed with this debut CD from Taylor. Except for one track (Dream Myself Awake), the songs are lively, danceable and soulful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    soul patrolled

    Loved it! Loved it !Loved it! Worth the wait for any soul patroller but cant wait to see him perform live with it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Cool Quality Music

    This CD is amazing. Great song selection and variety. Taylor Hickas proves again why he won the title American idol 2006. He is bringing back some calssy sounds. Love it and cannot stop listening.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    WOW

    This is a super CD, I love it!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    50+ Grandma Digs Hicks!

    Reminds me of the music of my youth (Motown). Music that affected me so much that I would stop the car and dance in the streets when the "soul sound" made it impossible not to do so!! My favorite song on the CD is "the Right Place". It shows off Taylor's blue-eyed soul and sexy growl the best.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    MARGINAL AT BEST...

    Enjoyed Taylor and his moves on Idol...but this is a very weak CD. He'll change up the tempo on his next album...if there is one that is.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 64 Customer Reviews