Every time I get wind that a debut single from an American Idol alumni has hit the radio, I go into the emotional fetal position. And who can blame me? From "Over It" to "Sorry 2004" to "The Real Thing," I’m often left feeling like the Idol Machine saddles its alumni with songs so insipid and unexciting, they’re almost predestined to fail on the pop charts.
So perhaps it’s in that context that I’m so totally jazzed by Blake Lewis’ dizzyingly catchy (if somewhat unfortunately titled) new single, "Break Anotha." But then again, maybe not. After several listens, "Break Anotha," with its opening blast of sirens and its hiccup-y beats, sounds like it could easily hold its own on Billboard’s Hot 100. In other words, it’s not just a "good for an Idol graduate" kind of single, but instead the kind of track I’d spend money to download. Oddly, Blake’s falsetto and the flurry of strings on the bridge is slightly reminiscent of J.Lo’s "Do It Well," but his voice sounds nonetheless confident and radio-ready throughout. And Blake’s lyrical word of caution ("So desperate/Be your best friend/Sign you up just to cross you off his checklist") about a chronic womanizer — complete with a breakdown that suggests that he might, in fact, be the cad in question — is a refreshing change of pace from "moment like this" goo.
Would it be blasphemous to suggest Blake might be the slightly less sexually-threatening answer to Justin Timberlake? ‘Cause seriously, "Break Anotha" sounds like a big hit to me. How ’bout you?