Snap Judgment: The 'American Idol' CD

94438__kevin_lAmerican Idol Season 5 Encores arrives in stores (and on AOL Music) today, proving once again that not all contestants are created equal. Here’s my take on each track — in 15 words or less:

Melissa McGhee, ”What About Love”: Decent, but c’mon, Ann Wilson’s voice would swallow hers like Pacman devouring a blue ghost.

Bucky Covington, "Superstition": Really, Bucky, even Paula could’ve told you to stick to country.

Mandisa, "I’m Every Woman": Where’s Mandisa? ‘Cause her outsized pipes — and saucy sing-speak intro — are sadly MIA.

Chris Daughtry, "Wanted Dead Or Alive": The lyrics say it best: "I’ve seen a million faces, and I’ve rocked them all."

Ace Young, "Father Figure": Suddenly, "I’ll be your daddy" sounds so much…filthier.

Taylor Hicks, "Takin’ It to the Streets": I cannot tell a lie: I just performed Taylor’s patented windmill dance move.

Lisa Tucker, "Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)": Where’d she record this? In a strip-mall karaoke studio?

Kellie Pickler, "Walkin’ After Midnight": Who’d’ve guessed I’d be longing for some post-song banter with Seacrest?

Elliott Yamin, "Moody’s Mood For Love": Despite the cheesy instrumentation, I could listen to this on repeat loop all day.

Katharine McPhee, "Think": Lucky for Katharine, it’s really not polite to compare anyone to Aretha.

Paris Bennett, "Midnight Train To Georgia": Seriously? Get the girl some Pips, and she could conquer the world.

Kevin Covais, "When I Fall In Love": If Simon Cowell went to hell, guess what would be on his iPod?

addCredit(“Kevin Covais: Jemal Countess/WireImage.com”)


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  • stephanie

    It should have been “Hemorrage” for Chris.

  • jennifer shanley

    I thought chris daugtery was the best one on the idiol i dont think he should of been voted of hes the best one in my eyes

  • Lauren

    Elliott Yamin proves his voice is in a completely different league than the rest of the performers on this album. His stage presence may have left something to be desired, but the judges were right about him being the best male vocalist they have had come through the competition, and it really shows in the studio…..

  • Christina

    I only listened to Chris and Kat’s. They both sounded pretty good. I’m not interested in the rest.

  • Z

    I agree, I would have liked to hear Chris sing Hemorrage…It’s funny to me that the best two recording voices on the album are Chris & Elliot and they are not in the finals. It kinda makes you wonder if the album had been put out say, 5 weeks ago, the finals would look very different now. Meaning it would be sans Katherine.

  • rbk

    Two things:
    1. I think Lisa sounds great — I mean, let’s be honest: all of these songs sound like they were recorded in a strip-mall karaoke studio. (Come on Fox, splurge a little on the editing even though you know fans will buy the CD anyway!) She was one of the less appreciated, below-the-radar finalists. Remember her audtion? Best of the season.
    2. Elliott’s track was the only one I listened to all the way through, forgetting that I planned to go through each one quickly…I’m kind of glad he’s free of the Idol pop-cookie-cutter pigeon-hole so he can go be a huge R&B star.

  • JohnSm

    I just bought the cd and I am kinda bummed could they not use any of the Queen songs? Kellie, Elliott and Paris’s were the best on that one. That was my favorite theme, I still have it on my tivo.

  • Stephanie

    Yep, Hemorrage and kat’s should have been “Till You Come Back To Me.”

  • Preston

    With their impeccable vocals, Paris and Elliott easily outshine the others on this year’s album. Oh, how I could listen to those two tracks all day!…

  • Charlie

    I think this CD was, overall, fairly good, but it could’ve been a lot better. I do think, though, this shows that Melissa McGhee should’ve at least made top 10, first of all.
    I think Chris, Elliott, and Paris showed that they all have the best recording voices of the finalists. Chris and Elliott were my ideal top 2, and it was sad for me when they both were voted off. I think that this shows that they could both go on to make multi-platinum CDs, and keep making them for years. They deserve it.
    Elliott’s is my favorite, and this shows that top 3 is underrating him. After hearing him on this CD, I’m sure he’ll make it big. He’d better make a CD so I can buy it!

  • Kyle

    Paris did her thing!!! She’s definitely got the potential to be a huge recording artist one day. I didn’t really like Chris on the show, but he sounds pretty good on his song. I think Mandisa blew her song out of the water as well.

  • Andrew

    I also wish they would have gone with a different song for Chris, but overall I think this CD was alright. I like Chris, Elliott, and Katherine’s songs. Kellie’s is a lot of fun too, I’ve always thought that performance was one of the best she did. Also, Melissa’s song proves that she should not have been the first out of the top 12 (um, Kevin? Bucky? Helloooo!!)

  • Vivi

    I only listened to Elliot’s because he seemed to be getting the most praise from this album. In the words of Randy, “The arrangement sucked”. But man, Elliot’s voice pulled through. Such an amazing, amazing voice. America did him so wrong. He should’ve made the Final 2 with Taylor. At least, that would’ve been drama, right there. Instead, we got this boring Final 2 with Taylor pretty much setting in stone that he’s the winner. Blah.

  • Patty

    Elliott’s “Moody’s Mood for Love” was absolutely amazing! I have listened to that song over and over again. What a gifted man! I hope we hear lot’s more from him.

  • RBlues

    I have never purchased the AI Encores CD before but I had to last night. I needed me an Elliott fix real bad, baby.
    Oh, My, God! Elliott’s track is phenomenal, his voice is like hot chocolate and by the way, his song selection is the only track that is not a “mainstream” song that everybody knows all of the words to. Elliott you are a diamond in the rough and I can’t wait to see you shine!!

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