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Sunday, May 04, 2008

On My Way Here Digest: May 4


  • Yahoo! Music will premiere a video for OMWH on Tuesday. This will probably be similar to those in-studio videos we've been seeing, since Clay has said he is not making a video for the single.
  • Here's a great bargain if you're looking to pick up a few copies of OMWH. Best Buy has them on sale this week for only $7.99 with free shipping.
  • Denver Post has a great article about OMWH...
    Clay Aiken finally has a record (sort of) of his own
    By Ricardo Baca
    Denver Post Pop Music Critic

    What is the measure of an artist?

    When it comes to Clay Aiken, you certainly can't tell from 2003's "Measure of a Man," a CD released just five months after he lost to Ruben Studdard on "American Idol."

    "When that first album came out, the music on it was predetermined before 'Idol' was even done," said Aiken, who has a new recording due this week. "At the time, I was just so excited that I had this opportunity, I was like, 'I'll sing "The Crawdad Song" if you want me to!' "

    Aiken didn't write any of the songs on "Measure," but his cooing delivery made him an even bigger star in the adult contemporary world. And after sporadic touring, it was time to cut another record — this one a holiday CD. "Merry Christmas With Love" was released a year after "Measure," and six weeks later it reached platinum status.

    [...]

    The record is heavy on the melodramatic ballads and light on substantive songwriting. Apparently the new Aiken isn't all that unlike the old Aiken, as they're both achin' for bombastic slow jams that walk the thin line between light R&B and adult contemporary. They're wallpaper.

    But a lot of people still like wallpaper, especially when it's representative of Aiken's journey as a celebrity.

    "In the last five years, I've gotten more used to saying no," Aiken said. "I'm almost 30 years old, and now it's not frightening for me to tell people no. You learn to stand your ground."

    While Aiken says "On My Way Here" represents the last five years of his life, he again didn't write any of the material. The singer said he's "not great" at songwriting and that he'd rather "let the people who are experts in that field do what they do, and I'll do what I do."

    The lead single and title track on the new record was written by a Denver musician, OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder. When Aiken and Foster came across "On My Way Here," it resonated so much with the artist that they scrapped most of the previous songs they'd demoed and started anew.

    "When we heard that one a year ago, we changed the whole direction of the record," Aiken said. "We had no theme before. We were just going to make an album. But with this song, everything rang so true. Right there we started looking for songs that talked about something that I had experienced in the last five years or something that explored a feeling I'd had."

    The process of finding the right songs wasn't easy. Aiken estimates he listened to 500 demos and that Foster listened to 10 times that many. "It's a long process," Aiken said. "For us, it lasted three years."

    [...]
  • Detroit Free Press is also highlighting the new CD -
    Perhaps no singer has been custom-made for "American Idol" like Clay Aiken, a guy enamored of the big, warm-and-fuzzy middle of popular music, where saccharine sentiments roam and supersized melodies rule the day.

    "On My Way Here" (RCA, **) the 29-year-old star's fourth album, is exactly the album you'd expect Aiken to make in 2008. Having ceded the radio-hit throne to "Idol" peers such as Kelly Clarkson, the second-season runner-up unapologetically sticks with the midtempo adult-contemporary sound that seems to be his natural calling.

    It isn't quite elevator music, but "On My Way Here" is a safe record -- a dozen tracks of perfectly pleasant pop that hews to the romantic side while occasionally embracing bigger themes ("Weight of the World," "Grace of God"). The album's uplifting title track, penned by OneRepublic front man Ryan Tedder, is the album standout, a Disney-film sort of anthem lovingly lathered in strings and acoustic guitars.

    All is just a platform, of course, to spotlight Aiken's voice, and fans will be happy to know his tenor remains in typically limber form, emoting tenderly before soaring open-throated on ballads such as "The Real Me" and "As Long As We're Here."

    This is all just a gracious way of saying that the album finds Aiken succeeding in his chosen domain -- but that domain is still a place teeming with musical clich├ęs, hammy performances and greeting-card verse. Aiken's Claymates may be pleased with the effort; the world at large is unlikely to be moved. In stores Tuesday.
  • LALate is eLATEd about Clay's CD! Clay is featured in their new webcast.

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