The eighth season of “American Idol” saw numerous changes: 36 semi-finalists instead of 24, thirteen finalists instead of twelve, nine contestants chosen by the public and four by the judges and the ever useless “save,” which was used on the save Matt Giraud.
Will there be more successful Idol finalists this time around? Whose career will unfold and whose record deal will fold? Time to find out, as the first batch of Idol 8 alumni release their debut singles.
Not holding back his screeching abilities, Season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert’s debut single, “Time for Miracles,” is almost a complete rip-off from Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing.” Not only is it a theme song of an end-of-the-world movie (2012) akin to how Aerosmith’s song is the theme song of “Armageddon,” but its pattern of slow build-up to power belting is so Steven Tyler.
Michael Slezak of “Entertainment Weekly” compared the lyrics of the two songs. “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”: I could stay awake just to hear you breathing/ Watch you smile while you are sleeping/ While you’re far away and dreaming, while for “Time for Miracles”: It’s late night at night and I can’t sleep/ Missing you just runs too deep/ Oh I can’t breathe thinking of your smile. Clearly, someone’s not being original.
“Time for Miracles”, which is about being heartbroken over a lost love and wishing for a miraculous reunion, was clearly made to showcase the powerful high timbre of Lambert’s voice and at the same time, establish his image as Tyler of this younger generation.
Lambert fans won’t be disappointed though, as his debut song is similar to his song selections back in his Idol days.
The piece ends with a promise: even those who can’t stand Lambert as an artist will have to give credit where credit is due: Adam Lambert is one heck of a singer. “Time for Miracles” is the perfect theme song for an end-of-the-world movie. The song will be released on iTunes on October 27.
Meanwhile, Lambert’s female “counterpart” in the same season, whom he sung “Slow Ride” with during duet week in Idol, has released her own single. Allison Iraheta, who finished fourth, has stayed true to her image of being a pop/rock chick with her song, “Friday I’ll be over U.”
If Lambert’s song is a dead-ringer for Aerosmith’s song, Iraheta’s song is a duplicate of first American Idol Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone.” This similarity should come as no surprise given Clarkson’s success as an alternative pop princess.
The most admirable thing about Iraheta’s debut single is that it is age-appropriate—she seems to be really enjoying herself while singing about ditching exes. The song’s catchy lyrics show LSS (Last song syndrome)-potential. One minute the song’s being played, the next you’re singing it.
Interestingly, while the song rocks pretty hard with its heavy bass, it lacks the Janis Joplin vibe that Iraheta was so loved for. Her smokey voice is lost in the song’s bubblegum yum flow.
The thing is, “Friday I’ll Be Over U” certainly will fit into the Disney “rock” that has conquered the airwaves. It’s just quite depressing that her vocal capabilities are upstaged by the auto-tunes and laser effects the song has.
But what are we to expect? The song is produced by Max Martin, the culprit behind song Pink’s “So What” and Katy Perry’s ”I Kissed a Girl.” Clearly, Miss Iraheta’s poised for her first hit.
While Iraheta, kind of stepped away from her Idol image, Kris Allen, that season’s winner, continues to be the laid-back singer-songwriter that he is—with his debut single, “Live Like We’re Dying.”
While the song is promising, the decision of Allen’s management to have a remake for a debut single is quite questionable. “Live Like We’re Dying” is a cover of a B-side track by the Irish band, the Script.
Nevertheless, Allen was still able to own the song—he makes it distinctly Kris. His phrasing is catchy, and it reminds fans of his uncanny ability to make any song his, just like how he covered “Heartless” by Kanye West in Idol. It’s just so easy to imagine Allen singing this in front of a live audience.
The song has this very “No Such Thing” John Mayer quality to it, especially during the rapid-fire chorus, which evokes so much emotion in its fast pace and folksy sound. There’s just no escaping the song’s repeatability.
The song’s lyrics are very positive, although some lines may seem a little too sugary, but Allen’s rhythmic delivery turns the song into a gem of a pop record. The song’s currently number 85 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
So whose career will unfold and whose record deal will fold? We’ll find out in a couple of weeks as these Idol alumni duke it out in the real world.