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Friday, May 09, 2008

On My Way Here Digest - May 9, 2008

  • Hits Daily Double is revising their first week sales estimates for Clay. New figures predict that Clay will move between 90,000 and 95,000 copies in the first week -
    YOUR WEAKEND TOP 10 CHART PREVIEW: Good news, kiddies-there will be five debuts in next week's Top 10, and one of them will actually break 100k! That would be Neil Diamond, whose second Rick Rubin-produced Columbia album is headed toward the top of the chart, with a projected 125-130k. Behind the old-timer will be RCA/RMG's debuting Clay Aiken, who should come tantalizingly close to six figures, with 90-95k. Madonna's Hard Candy (WB) appears to be melting toward 85-90k in its second week, probably good enough for #3 in this age of diminished expectations, though she probably can't wait to get her act to Live Nation. Another diva, Mariah Carey (Island/IDJ), will likely be next with 80-85k, while the sophomore album of J/RMG's Gavin DeGraw is headed for a bow in the neighborhood of 70-75k, which would probably get him to #5. The rest of the Top 10 should go something like this: Toby Keith (Show Dog/Mercury Nashville), 70-75k: Leona Lewis (Syco/J/RMG), 65-70k; Josh Groban (143/WB), 50-55k; and Dierks Bentley (Capitol Nashville), 28-32k; with #10 up for grabs between Reprise's Michael Buble Wal-Mart exclusive EP at 28-32k and Taylor Swift (Big Machine/Universal Republic) 28-30k. You are now free to get back to going through your Facebook notifications. (5/9a)
  • Billboard's Chuck Taylor offers his review of "On My Way Here" - the song -
    Clay Aiken readily admits that despite massive retail and touring success, radio has never been a particularly tight ally. So he recorded "On My Way Here," his first new album of original material in five years, with an eye on simply finding songs that fit him-and lo and behold, the title track could well be one that AC radio embraces. First, it's co-written by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder, who has worked with Leona Lewis, Natasha Bedingfield and dozens of other hitmakers. Second, the lyric offers that rare message you actually listen to: "I've seen the best, the worst/I wouldn't change what I've been through/I've touched the sky, hit the wall, but did what I had to/On my way here." Aiken was so moved by this song that it locked in an album theme about growing up and lessons learned. The singer might be accused of excess bravado in the past, but here, he delivers a restrained performance, still ever-emotive. Claymates-who proved tenacity by supporting en masse his just-wrapped Broadway run in "Spamalot"-will be reduced to tears, but even those who have dismissed Aiken in the past will find this "Way" convincing. -Chuck Taylor
  • USA Today's Idol Chatter blog has a review of the full OMWH album. I think it's a fair and respectable review and it's obvious the reviewer, Ken Barnes, actually listened to the album first -
    I got a copy of Clay's On My Way Here earlier this week and thought I'd revive the old track-by-track semi-review method I've used on some past Idol albums.

    Most of you won't be jolted to learn that Clay's favored style of music is not mine. Musically, he has a preference for the big soaring, orchestrated pop ballad; lyrically he seems to like songs about overcoming struggles or general inspiration, or songs about the difficulties of finding a perfect relationship, or celebrating it when you do, or resolving trust issues once you're in a relationship. You have to be careful about reading too much into the song choices (they could well be songs he just likes singing), but I can imagine his fans becoming a little concerned about his happiness.

    Much of this sort of thing in general can veer into the mawkish or overly sentimental or cliched, and the songs Clay chose to do here are not exempt from those problems.

    Yet it's good to see him being able to fulfill his vision through songs tailored for him, as opposed to the cover format dictated on his last album. And there are definitely aspects of the album I liked, including the singing -- Clay has a fine instrument in his voice and deploys it skillfully throughout, so that even when I'm thinking a song is pretty mushy, I also realize it's well-sung mush.

  •'s review of OMWH is up. Wonderful! -
    Under the tutelage of producer Marc 'Kipper' Eldridge, Clay Aiken finally breaks out of his shell to deliver his best record to date.

    It has been 5 years since Clay Aiken was runner-up to Ruben Studdard in the second season of American Idol. Since being propelled into the spotlight in 2003, Aiken has released 3 full length studio albums, including a Christmas CD, authored a New York Times best-selling book Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life along with Allison Glock, and has recently made his Broadway debut playing the role of Sir Robin in Monty Python's Spamalot in January, 2008.

    On My Way Here, released on the RCA label, is the singer's 4th record and perhaps his most authoritative. The album recounts Aiken's experiences, positive and negative, over the past 5 years. The title track, "On My Way Here", was originally written by Ryan Tedder (One Republic) and immediately caught Aiken's ear. It conveys the infinite trials and tribulations of growing older and depicts new challenges that arise as adults, a theme clearly relevant to Aiken's recent past.

    Catch Clay Aiken on his U.S. summer 2008 tour to promote the new album.

    Favorite Songs: "On My Way Here", "Ashes", and "Where I Draw the Line"


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