Snap Judgment: New Taylor Hicks tracks

91811__taylor_lIt’s the question that music fans have been asking since May: Will quirky, soulful Taylor Hicks — arguably the hardest-to-categorize American Idol champ in the show’s five-season history — maintain the platinum debut-disc sales streak that’s been upheld by the show’s four previous winners, particularly in today’s loves-to-categorize music scene?

Well, the time for answers draws near. Hicks’ full-length CD is due in stores Dec. 12, and now, the folks at the GrayCharles blog have an almost-completed version of a song called "The Runaround" and a snippet of "Dream Myself Awake" streaming at their site. (The tracks also debuted on Hicks’ MySpace page today.)

Of the two at GrayCharles, I far prefer "The Runaround"; with itspeppy, mid-’80s horns and restless drumbeat, it sounds like thelovechild of "Sussudio" and "Head Over Heels." And while the lyrics –"I’m getting an A in broken hearts/I got my degree in crying" — mightbe a little too cheesy for the hipster crowd, I’m totally ready to singalong after three listens. Perhaps most importantly, though, thisloose, jaunty track doesn’t sound like it was manufactured in the DianeWarren Instamatic Hitmaker 6.0, a problem that’s plagued many an Idolalum (and has inspired this Weird Al parody). Even if you’re one of those folks who’ll cringe imaging Hicks dohis white-boy shuffle performing "Runaround" live, you’ve got to admit,it’s not half-bad.

"Dream Myself Awake," meanwhile, is a lot more contemporary, butdoesn’t do nearly as good a job showcasing Hicks’s personality. I hateto sound like Randy Jackson, but it’s just aiight for me, althoughTaylor definitely did his thing, Dawg, and… yeesh, I just totally gavemyself the creeps.

Anyway, PopWatchers, take a listen to "The Runaround" and "Dream Myself Awake"for yourselves, and tell me: Is Taylor the next Kelly Clarkson orJustin Guarini — commercially speaking, of course? Holla back!

Comments (193 total) Add your comment
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  • aramis

    After a listen (I) I can’t really decide what’s worse (don’t), the lyrics (think) or Hicks himself (so).
    “I’m getting an A in broken hearts/I got my degree in crying…”
    I just puked in my mouth. Just a little, but I swallowed it.

  • Philly

    Did any of you see our man Taylor Hicks on last night’s American Music Awards – Very handsome – Very groomed – Very cool – He put some of those so called artists to shame with his presence. I predict he will be the next American Idol Super Star – I knew he was a winner the first time I heard him sing and especially his well-mannered personality.

  • Lora

    Looks like Dream Myself Awake is a Rob Thomas song…sounds like it…and that’s not really a compliment in my book.

  • Kanima

    I really like both songs. I also prefer The Runaround, but Dream Myself Awake isn’t half bad. Go to Gray Charles and listen to another song that was put up today. It’s called The Right Place and is amazing! It is the best of the three songs in my opinion.

  • Corran

    Slezak, please review Katharine’s new songs! Thx :) even if all the kat pack knows u dont like her very much, but then again u loathed Carrie Underwood.

  • Auriana

    Don’t know about his new tracks but I absolutely love the Weird Al version. It’s been one of my favorites ever since the album came out (though it can’t beat White and Nerdy).
    “Wanna carve your name in my laayyyggg…in my laaaaaayyyyygggg!”

  • smoochie

    Ouch, that was quite painful!! Thank goodness I haven’t had my turkey yet. Actually, who needs it after that!!!!

  • Rosie

    Oh, my goodness, I am in LOVE with The Runaround. I haven’t been able to give the other track much attention because I’ve been replaying this one all morning. I love Taylor Hicks but was worried he would get crap material like Clay Aiken’s boring love songs and covers. Not that I wouldn’t DIE to hear Taylor do Ray Charles and Sam Cooke covers, but I also want him to succeed commercially like Kelly and Carrie.

  • Thad

    I’ve got my degree in crying!!! hahahahaha! Its worse than I could have imagined.
    Go buy the Daughtry cd, it came out today and i have been listening all day.

  • Stephanie M.

    OMG! That was absolutely horrible! Just give the man some Billy Joel tracks to cover and call it a day. He just needs to go away…..the sooner, the better.

  • Dre

    I think he fits in perfectly with all of the other American Idol winners. They all put out albums full of cheesy, sub-par knock-offs of songs that were already made popular by other established artists. The “American Idols” are only partially to blame for this since they don’t write their own music. People who like hearing recycled and re-arranged versions of thier favorite songs will eat this album up.

  • justin castillo

    Sounds great. Maybe its a good thing that someone who can’t be easily categorized won, even though I believe Elliott should’ve taken the title (and might have since he didn’t have to sing a guilty pleasure). He’ll sell and sail like Kelly for baby boomers definitely.

  • tinawina

    There’s a new one up today that blows these two out of the water called The Right Place. You should mention that one also, Slezak! :-)

  • Sally

    It fits his style, which is a little country rock and Barry Manilow. Hard to categorize, but I see Taylor in Branson and Vegas, and that song fits those two places.

  • susan

    The first album will probably sell well like all the winners of idol do. After that he’ll start fading away. He’s just not that good. There were alot better then him that should have one.

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