Perfect first song for Allison. Hope she does well on the charts.
Perfect first song for Allison. Hope she does well on the charts.
Friday I’ll be Over U (lets call it Friday), Allison new single, is what I expected. I’m a baby boomer so prefer my rock the old fashioned way, edgy and straight from the heart. Friday is fun, light-hearted, danceable, radio-friendly, and teen friendly. It boasts a contemporary track more reminiscent of Disney’s Hollywood Records than the soulful teenage pop R&B/hip-hop usually associated with Jive Records. Zomba Music, Jive’s parent company, was more innovative before Sony/BMG. After the buy out, Zomba modified Jive Records and Laface Records to compete with Disney’s Hollywood Records. Warner Bros is in a league all its own. Disney successfully launched the careers of teen sensations Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Vanessa Hudgens, Aly&AJ, Selena Gomez, Jesse McCartney, and the Jonas Brothers. Allison’s handlers arranged for her to tap that heavily populated music demographic. Those kids can make superstars of the most ordinary entertainers. Unfortunately most of Disney’s teen singers don’t sing very well. Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens are good ambassadors for Disney but musically challenged. Miley Cyrus and The Jonas Brothers are decent singers but artistically challenged; neither is willing to sacrifice money for art. Jesse McCartney finally matured into a wonderful young singer and unlike most of Disney's young singers, is likely to remain a force well into adulthood; primarily because he ventured beyond Disney and embraced a more contemporary adult sound. But there’s one that outshines them all. Her name is Demi Lovato. She’s pretty and sexy (a Disney Must Have) but is not your typical Disney prototype. This kid can sing when it suits her; she can disappear inside a ballad; e.g Don’t Forget. It’s a simple song, for sure, but emotionally connected and well projected; reminiscent of Avril Lavigne’s When You’re Gone. Demi Lovato is without doubt Hollywood Records best young singer.
Disney has been intimately involved in the careers of multiple Idol contestants. They single-handedly resurrected Kelly Clarkson’s career with Breakaway. Bucky Covington owes Disney a huge debt; Lyric Street (Disney’s country label) signed him when others would not. Bucky rewarded them with debut album sales well over 400,000 and three top ten records on the Country Music Chart. Jordin Sparks tours with Disney’s Jonas Brothers; David Archuleta tours with Demi Lovato; and at times shares the stage with Miley Cyrus. American Idol and 19 Entertainment partnered with Disney to create the American Idol Experience, as we know, which pays the bills for scores of Idol contestants. So, if you’re going to borrow a sound, as Max Martin and Jive Records did with Friday, Disney is the one. There’s an almost unbreakable bond between artist and fan. After nearly twenty years, AC/DC and Alice In Chains released new music. I didn’t have to, but purchased multiple copies nonetheless. As a life long fan, I feel a sense of obligation and loyalty even now. The purchase is my way of saying thank you for what was given to me. I’ve been to more Ministry, Springsteen, Motorhead, and NIN concerts than I can count. Allison will need to build a loyal following like this; and, the Disney demographic is a good place to start.
Although 19 Entertainment did right by Allison, it has a sketchy history with Idol contestants. I use 19 Entertainment and 19 Recordings interchangeably here since either can make or break a career. Its big successes are Kelly Clarkson (over ten million units sold), Carrie Underwood (just under ten million units sold), and Chris Daughtry (just over five millions units sold). David Cook is still with 19 Entertainment but Fantasia Barrino and Reuben Studdard are not, although Fantasia is still signed to 19 Recordings/J Records. Reuben Studdard’s first two albums sold more than two-and-one-half million units, but the third sold just under 75,000, and J Records promptly dumped him. I don’t know what happened with Elliott Yamin, AI most independent and courageous contestant. but he ceded his contract with 19 Entertainment to sign with Hickory Records and produce combined debut album and single (Wait For You) sales of 500,000 and 2 million units, respectively. Elliott Yamin remains the best singer ever to set foot on the AI stage. Katharine McPhee, one of the sexiest women on the planet, signed with 19 Recordings/RCA to produce debut album and single (Over It) sales of 400,000 and 500,000 units, respectively. But even these solid numbers couldn’t keep her safe. RCA dumped her. I was particularly disappointed with Jive Record’s handling of David Archuleta, one of my favorite contestants. 19 Entertainment made him a ton of money in 2008-2009, with debut album and single sales of 750,000 and 1.85 millions units, respectively, and I suspect gate receipts made him a rich young man. His debut album, however, lacked soul and substance. I hope the money chests fill quickly so he can return to music from the heart.
Jordin Sparks received Jive’s best (lets just pretend Tattoo never happened). I was stopped and shocked by No Air; a perfect R&B love song. I predicted it would reach #1 on Billboard’s Top 100 Pop Charts but unfortunately it stalled at #3. The jury’s still out on the 19 Entertainment, Kris Allen partnership. His debut single, Live Like We’re Dyin, is a masterful composition but dropping like a rock on both digital download and radio charts. If things don’t change, his upcoming album could be the first debut album by an American Idol winner to sell less than one million units. Lets hope that doesn't happen. Despite the poor showing, his management team should be able to promote and market his image in other ways; e.g., endorsements. Kris' music career is made all the more difficult because of his morality; he staunchly refuses to play the sex card. Finally, Danny Gokey signed with 19 Recordings and RCA Nashville. I don’t doubt he can sing country music; he’s a wonderful singer, but there are huge obstacles before him. His biggest problem is a complete lack of authenticity and street cred. Country, R&B, and hard rock fans belong to a select society; they are a band of brothers; boats against a mainstream current; and unfortunately for Danny, all of them can spot an outsider or poseur a mile away.
I hope Allison’s debut album contains one or more hard rock ballads; that’s her strength. The history of American Idol and rock music is complex. Kelly Clarkson’s future is clearly pop but she can rock when it suits her; Since You Been Gone and Whyyawannabringmedown are excellent light rock compositions. David Cook (The Anthemic?) is a wonderful singer but a musical Chameleon. Most of his post-Idol work is Adult Contemporary and/or Easy Listening soft rock (Light On and Heroes are good but not much else). He made a ton of money last year so I hope he rediscovers his true self and embraces the emo rocker he was born to be. Taylor Hicks is a great guy but his music is a very difficult listen. I’m hoping Adam Lambert gives us at least one of two rock songs; e.g. the real kind; the stuff we saw on American Idol, but I’m not holding my breath. For example, Daughtry sold over four millions cds and raked in more than ten million dollars in concert receipts last year but still shied away from hard rock. Their second album, Leave This Town, is more rock deprived than the first. The one AI contestant who let it all slip away was Bo Bice; an authentic old school blues rocker whose career was cut short by declining health and mismanagement. Bo signed with RCA Records and sold nearly 700,000 units of his debut album, The Real Thing; enough to keep him safe, but his health and personal life made everybody nervous. RCA dropped him. It was a bad marriage from the first. RCA doesn’t specialize in rock; neither does Sony /BMG. Bo needed Reprise, Roadrunner, or Fueled By Ramen, etc. but couldn’t because of his contractual obligations. Witness, the single from his second album, See The Light, is a fantastic composition and one of my favorite songs.
I knew Allison wouldn't be permitted to record old school rock anthems; there's there no money in it. But, I would have preferred her to copy the Pink sound. Pink belongs to LaFace Records, Jive’s sister company, and is enjoying the best years of her career. She specializes in shock rock but knows who she is. Friday I’ll Be Over U sounds nothing like Pink. If the goal is good pop rock, why not something akin to Kelly Clarkson’s Since You Been Gone or Pink’s So What? If good pop punk, why not something akin to Avril Lavigne’s Girlfriend or Greenday’s Boulevard? As I mentioned earlier, Friday sounds more like Disney's 7 Things, Fly On The Wall (Miley Cyrus) and Get Back (Demi Lovato) than the former. Although I wanted something different, the Disney experiment is a very strategic move. We'll have to wait until the official release date to see how good it really is. I hope that one day; after to money banked, we hear the real Allison Iraheta; that unique, sassy, gravel-voiced (skip the autotune), fearless, and downright hard core young rocker rebel we fell in love with on American Idol. I don't care how it is; or how it's done; I just want it to real.
Last edited by liedenfrost; 10-17-2009 at 06:06 AM.
What a great write-up! Liedenfrost, did you compose that? Very insightful. I agree with it pretty much 100%, down to the part about Elliott being the best AI singer ever (although I don't care for the style of music he records).
I was a little disappointed in "Friday I'll Be Over U," although it probably does fit her age group. I too was expecting something more along the lines of Kelly Clarkson or Pink. I did find an article on MTV's website in which she says the rest of her album has a hardier, "grittier" edge to it than her first single. The producer of one of the songs on Allison's album said he does not write bubblegum pop, and that he sees Allison as a modern-day Janis Joplin or Pat Benatar. Exactly what I think! I'm looking forward to hearing what else is on her album, which drops December 1.
Just a few quibbles with your post.
1) Kris is not dropping like a rock on the charts. His song has just gone for adds & has been one of the most added songs out there for the past few days. He is getting good spincreases on both Top 40 & HAC stations.
2) No Air was a great song for Jordin, but have you ever heard Rissi Palmer sing it? Yeow!
3) Fantasia is not with 19 anymore, but they didn't drop her, she did the dropping. And it was a stupid short term move that has not worked out for her, nor did it work for Clay or Kelly.
4) Gokey might be able to sing, but I don't think he has a snowballs chance in hades of being anything more than a moderate success in Country Music. He didn't even know which way to turn until he got hooked up with producer Mark Bright (Carries prooducer). The Country audience will remember stuff like that. Besides, my opinion is that Gokey's main thrust over & above anything else is to promote his foundation.
) And just to round it out...I'm obviously going to disagree with you on the best singer ever to hit the Idol stage...nuff said.
I don't think so. Not by a long shot.Elliott Yamin remains the best singer ever to set foot on the AI stage.
"Feel the sky blanket you/ With gems and rhinestones/ See the path cut by the moon/ For you to walk on" - EV
Allison's album Just Like You popped up early. It's now available at iTunes and Amazon.
Hi TopCat - I just signed on to state that today's her CD's release date! Yesterday the songs could not be previewed on amazon.com, but they can now. I think it has a strong Kelly Clarkson / Pink sound to it, with exception to "Friday I'll Be Over U" (which is too pop sounding for me). The previews sound really good to me - especially "Scars" and "D is for Dangerous" - the latter of which made me smile when she sang "G for 'get outta here'."Originally Posted by TopCatDC;3760189;
I hope she does well. This is on my Christmas list for sure!
Last edited by BuckeyeAddict; 12-01-2009 at 03:08 PM.
Early estimates for first weeks sales are coming n around 35K.
I got the album and really really like it! She mixes up tempos and instrumentation on her songs. So I didn't get bored halfway thru the album, like many albums from reality shows feel. And I got a very Pink voice feel on some of her songs, particularly the slower ones.Originally Posted by BuckeyeAddict;3760261;
"How do you know the chosen ones? No greater love hath a man than he lay down his life for his friend. Not for millions, not for glory, not for fame... for one person. In the dark. Where no one will ever know or see." - Sebastion, Babylon 5
Thanks for the review! I'll trust your judgement more than I will some joker named Shawn Amos. Supposedly he's good enough to get published by the AP for his opinions about albums and whether to "skip" to "play" them. He says to skip Allison's CD. However, I don't know about his knowledge level since he thinks she was a "fourth runner up" (doesn't that mean 5th place? Regardless, she came in 3rd). And to top that off, he said "Since when did the fourth runner-up of anything get such a chance at the big time?" He's never heard of Daughtry???Originally Posted by AsIs;3760703;
I guess you don't have to be too smart to know if an album is good or not. But at least for now, you can listen to the CD online. I doubt I can paste the link here, but if you Google "wsj allison iraheta" it might be the first entry you get. The title of the article is Allison Iraheta’s “Just Like You,” R. Kelly’s “Untitled”: New Music Preview. There is a link in the article to be able to listen to the CD. And BTW - that reviewer seems to like her CD.
Last edited by BuckeyeAddict; 12-02-2009 at 08:36 AM.