April 16, 2008

About.com’s review of Clay’s single ‘On My Way Here’

Posted in Music tagged , , , , , at 10:25 am by myrlinn

Clay Aiken’s title track ‘On My Way Here’ is scheduled for adds to Hot/Modern/AC radio (in the US) soon, at the end of this month. So it was interesting to read Bill Lamb of About.com’s take on the single, especially these two points:

Radioplay?

“The title song and first single from Clay Aiken’s upcoming album is not likely to get him back on mainstream pop radio. However, the lush arrangement and his vocals that flow like honey could spell an adult contemporary smash.” (from Bill Lamb’s  About.com review)

He’s probably right here. Top 40 radio embracing this track? Outside chance at best, particularly in the US where radio seems to be tightly formatted and formulaic, and we don’t hear any songs with that kind of arrangement on pop radio. In Asia, though, where radio stations aimed at young people still do play a wider variety of music, and are influenced by pop from both the UK and the US, I think this song has the potential to do well.

Listen to Clay’s single ‘On My Way Here’ on his myspace page and judge for yourself. Or you can check out the song here on a promo page for the CD.

Lyrical Quality?

“Lyrically, the song attempts to sound autobiographical. However, cliched lines about faith conquering fear, trying and failing, and being loved and lied to threaten to sink the project. Fortunately, Clay Aiken sings the words with such conviction it’s rather easy to ignore the weaknesses.” (from Bill Lamb’s About.com review) (For lyrics to ‘On My Way Here’, check my previous post here)

When talking about the lyrics, we have to remember that Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic wrote ‘On My Way Here’. He’s known for his success in pop, and the lyrics seem to be in line with what we get on pop these days. It reminds me of Kelly Clarkson’s “Breakaway”, actually. I was underwhelmed by the lyrics, but it was a pop hit.

I’m glad that Bill mentioned that Clay sings the song with conviction. That is definitely one of the major strengths of this track. And, as a first single, what ‘On My Way Here’ has got going for it is that it’s really catchy. I find myself humming the tune, and that’s something, believe me, since it takes me ages to remember a song.

I think this track probably gives us an inkling of what the CD is going to be like — an album that will reflect Clay’s own style, rather than one aimed at appealing to a specific radio format. It’s always a risk to do something different, but then, Clay’s had a lot of success with taking risks recently (few thought that he’d be such a success in Spamalot on Broadway, which has more to do with comedic skills than singing).

Going off on a slight tangent here, but still on the subject of lyrics, I was cheering when I heard that the song Clay himself wrote, “Lover All Alone” (music by David Foster and Eman), will be on his next CD. Now, this is a song with really good lyrics. You can hear him sing it on tour here (Houston concert, posted by SecretlyLovesClay) :

Lyrics: Lover All Alone

Maybe I’ve convinced myself, I’ve really been in love
And I’ve been wrong, all along
For all I know the feeling, and the picture
That I’ve tried so hard to find, isn’t mine
Could be it’s all just a waiting game
Wanna share my everything.

And on my own it’s hard to tell my heart it will be all right
This love it holds will one day find a home.
As hard as love can be, it’s harder still it seems
To be a lover all alone without love.

Picking up the pieces makes me wonder if
I only built it all, to watch it fall
The faster it can go away it means the less of me
Has gone to stay, and I’m OK.
But lonesome tomorrow comes anyway
I’m alone for another day. Another day.

And on my own it’s hard to tell my heart it will be all right
That this love it holds will one day find a home.
As hard as love can be, it’s harder still it seems
To be a lover all alone, without love.

And on my own it’s hard to tell my heart it will be all right
And this love it holds will one day find a home.
As hard as love can be, it’s harder still it seems
To be a lover all alone without love.
A lover all alone, without love.

Maybe I’ve convinced myself, I’ve really been in love.
But I’ve been wrong, all along.

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