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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April 5, 2008

Clay Aiken’s ‘On My Way Here’ – RCA Press Release

Posted in Music tagged , , , , , , at 8:26 am by myrlinn

Clay Aiken to Release Brand-New Album, On My Way Here, on May 6th 2008

EAGERLY AWAITED COLLECTION IS THE POP SUPERSTAR’S FIRST ALBUM OF ORIGINAL SONGS SINCE 2003

NEW YORK, April 4, 2008 /PRNewswire/ — Multi-platinum selling pop singer Clay Aiken will release his fourth album, On My Way Here, on RCA Records/19 Entertainment on May 6th, 2008. The collection is the 29-year-old Raleigh, NC, native’s first album of original songs since his 2003 chart-topping, double- platinum debut Measure of a Man.

On My Way Here chronicles Aiken’s experiences over the past five years ascending from popular contestant on the second season of American Idol to pop superstar. The album’s theme came to Aiken when he and his executive producer Jaymes Foster fell in love with a song written by OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder called “On My Way Here.” The message of the lyrics — how the lessons we learn while growing up shape us into who we become as adults — struck a very deep chord with the artist. The title track “On My Way Here” will be the first radio single from the album to be released later this month. Additionally the single, “On My Way Here” will premiere as an “AOL First Listen” on Monday, April 7th.

“I thought if we could find songs that relate to what’s gone on in my life over the past five years and address what I’ve learned from my experiences, it would be a great concept for my album,” Aiken says. “Since I got into this business, I’ve learned so much about myself. I think this album covers how far I’ve come, personally and professionally.”

The chance to record new material was an opportunity Aiken didn’t want to miss. His previous two albums, 2004’s Merry Christmas with Love (which went platinum within six weeks of its release) and 2006’s gold-certified A Thousand Different Ways, featured 10 cover versions of well-known songs popularized by Celine Dion, Elton John, and Dolly Parton. Aiken’s vocal performances on songs like “As Long as We’re Here,” about not waiting until it’s too late to tell someone you love them, and “The Real Me,” about being in the public eye, resonate with the kind of emotion that can only come from someone who’s experienced this firsthand. “Although,” Aiken says, “it was important to me that the songs be interpretable in all kinds of ways.People should be able to find their own meaning in the lyrics.”

On My Way Here will be released just as Aiken finishes up his Broadway run playing Sir Robin in the Tony Award-winning musical Monty Python’s Spamalot. Since January, Aiken has spent his days in the recording studio with On My Way Here’s Grammy Award-winning British producer Kipper (Sting, Chris Botti), and his nights onstage in Spamalot. “I guess I’m a glutton for punishment,” he says with a laugh.

For more on Clay Aiken, please visit his official website http://www.clayaiken.com.

SOURCE RCA Records

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AMERICAN IDOL EXTRA INTERVIEW (first aired 3 April 2008)