Wait…WHAT’s Favorite Albums of 2010

It’s that time where I reveal 10 albums that I enjoyed throughout the year. My picks are personal favorites that were in constant rotation in my car stereo. I think a couple of the albums are no brainers that they made the list, and there might be a couple surprises.

So, in no particular order, here are my favorite albums of 2010.

Music From Glee: Journey to Regionals EP

I have reviewed a lot of Glee music this year, and my favorite batch of songs came from the Journey to Regionals EP. I love the Journey covers, but the shining gem is Jonathan Groff’s cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Seriously, go take a listen. It’s absolute ear candy.

 

Darren Criss: Human EP

Darren Criss is hands down the best thing that’s happened to my iTunes this year. His Human EP is made up of five relatable tracks that will pull on your heartstrings. I can’t wait to see what this singer-songwriter can do with a full studio album.

 

 

Ke$ha: Animal

I didn’t really know what to make of Ke$ha when “Tik Tok” first came out. After taking a listen to her album, I realized that homegirl’s music is absolutely infectious. If you want to feel good and dance, Animal was where it was at this year.

Continue reading Wait…WHAT’s Favorite Albums of 2010

Concert Review >> Lee DeWyze at Mix 106.5’s Very Merry Mixxer

Last week, Lee DeWyze took part in Mix 106.5’s Very Merry Mixxer alongside Angel Taylor and the popular band, Plain White T’s.

He performed second that night, and kicked off his eight-song acoustic set with “Earth Stood Still.” He followed up with a slightly altered version of “Dear Isabelle.” DeWyze changed up the melody just slightly, making the song sound more upbeat.

DeWyze has found balance in his vocals between a soft and subtle vocal and his larger notes. I definitely prefer the stripped down versions of the songs versus the polished studio tracks, because they showcase his true rough around the edges musical style and folk-pop vocals.

One of the highlights from DeWyze’s set was his take on Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” His performance was stunning.

I’ve always really liked DeWyze’s voice on this song, and during this particular moment at the show, I was just in awe. It was a fantastic performance.

The other big highlight of the night was “Brooklyn Bridge,” which DeWyze closed his set with. This song should always be performed acoustically; The sentiment behind the lyrics comes across much more powerful.

DeWyze’s stage presence has definitely come a long way from his American Idol days. He bantered a bit with the crowd about how he had been playing his guitar a little too hard, and how much he’s enjoying playing his songs off of Live It Up.

The one thing that I would have changed about DeWyze’s set would be the order of his set list. He played his current single “Sweet Serendipity” in the middle of his set instead of singing it last, which I thought was odd. I would have rearranged his entire set to make it flow a little bit better.

I found DeWyze to be pretty entertaining. His vocals were really on point, and the crowd seemed to love him.

For more information on Lee DeWyze, check out his official website.

Complete set list:

“Earth Stood Still”
“Dear Isabelle”
“Beautiful Like You”
“Sweet Serendipity”
“Hallelujah”
“Live It Up”
“A Song About Love”
“Brooklyn Bridge”

Originally posted on BlogCritics.

Lee DeWyze Performs “Earth Stood Still” at 106.5’s Merry Mixxer

Tonight I attended Mix 106.5’s Merry Mixxer in Campbell, CA where Lee DeWyze was performing, along with Angel Taylor and Plain White T’s.

I will be writing a review of Lee’s set, but in the mean time, here is his performance of “Earth Stood Still” from earlier tonight!

Enjoy!

Lee DeWyze’s “Sweet Serendipity” Music Video Premieres on VH1.com

The music video for Lee DeWyze’s debut single, “Sweet Serendipity” just debuted on VH1.com!

Watch the video and let me know what you think in the comments!

First impression: I like it. I’m a fan of simple, sweet videos.

Lee’s album, Live It Up is now available for download on iTunes and Amazon.com!

Don’t forget to pick up your copy!

Lee DeWyze Performs “Sweet Serendipity” on ‘The Tonight Show’

Lee DeWyze performed his new single, “Sweet Serendipity” for the first time live on The Tonight Show last night.

Check it out!

I really like this song live. I thought Lee sounded pretty good. The chorus seemed to get him a little bit after the second verse, but overall it was a great debut performance to kick off the album promo for Live It Up.

It was great to see Lee back on TV, and I hope this performance kicks up the sales of the single.

What you think of Lee’s performance from last night?

Lee DeWyze’s Live It Up Streaming on Facebook

You can now listen to clips of Lee DeWyze’s upcoming album Live It Up on his Facebook page. The clips are listed under the “Music” tab.

I am actually listening to the clips as I type this, and I am liking what I am hearing. I am pretty stoked to pick up my copy of his album this upcoming New Music Tuesday!

So Lee fans, what do you think about the album clips? Any favorite songs?

Catching Up With Lee DeWyze

Lee DeWyze is one busy dude. Since winning season nine of American Idol he has toured the United States with his fellow Idols, as well as writing and recording his new album Live It Up. He is now gearing up for the release of his album on November 16.

Earlier this week, DeWyze was nice enough to talk with me over the phone about his upcoming album. During the first part of our conversation we talked about the recording process, songwriting and the various collaborators he worked with, and his lead single, “Sweet Serendipity.”

You started recording Live It Up this summer while on the tour with American Idol. What was the recording process like while you were on the road and how much of the album did you complete? And what was the recording process like after you completed the tour?

The recording process was pretty amazing actually. On the tour, I’m trying to focus on that, but I’m also trying to write an album and recording it all. For me, it was a very different process, trying to write an album while being on tour and doing other things while you’re doing it. But, it was great. Working with the people I worked with was great. I had a huge hand in the writing process. Being on 10 of the 11 songs writing-wise was a huge accomplishment, and I really have the label and the people around me to thank for allowing me to do that. That’s who I am as an artist. The fact that I got to accomplish that goal of mine was really awesome.

After the tour was over, I really put in 100 percent. I enjoyed the whole process. And always, there’s ups and downs of it, you run into tiny walls, you get through them and keep going.

So, you wrote on the majority of the album, 10 out of the 11 tracks?

Yeah 10 out of the 11, I worked with various writers. I worked with amazing people. Toby Gad, Dave Hodges, Claude Kelly, Lindy Robbins, John Shanks, Zac Maloy, Espionage, David Glass, I mean the list goes on. Just great people that I got to work with. They helped make the album what it is too, I have them to thank for that.

Okay, so when you are working on a song, what comes first, the lyrics,
the melody, or a little bit of both?

I like to start with music sometimes, once I get the beat in place, I can start to write about it. Melodies are important. I always kind of pride myself on my melodies. For me, it was a little bit of everything.

How many songs did you initially start with before narrowing it down to the 11 that are on Live It Up?

We had quite a few. There are definitely going to be some songs that are offered out there separately from the album. I’m really, really proud of what I have done. All the ones that didn’t make the album, it’s not that they weren’t good songs, it was just that we knew the right songs to go on this first album. I’m happy with the single, I’m happy with title of the album, I’m happy with the whole thing.

Very awesome, you sound really excited. How did you decide on what to title the album, and were there any other possible titles for the album that you had in mind?

I ran a couple different titles through my head, you know Live It Up is definitely kind of the theme of the album. I felt that each one of these songs really had a little meaning [tying to the album title]. It’s a cool little album. I love it. It speaks a lot about me, everything in life, relationships, love, a loss, you know different things that everyone goes through in their life.

Alright, let’s talk about your first single, “Sweet Serendipity.” You were planning to originally release the title track of the album and the night before your single was going to debut on the radio, you switched it to “Sweet Serendipity.” What was behind the change of heart about what song to lead off your album with?

Truthfully, I’m sitting there looking at the whole album, there were a lot of songs that I could’ve picked for the single. They’re all really strong songs. I think “Sweet Serendipity” is the right song for the right time. We put it out there, and it’s a great song. I’m really proud of it.

I like the song and it’s really catchy. It’s a lot more pop than I was expecting.

That’s the thing that I like. There’s everything from pop to rock to broken down acoustic. That’s kind of why I like the album so much. There’s different variety on there, and that’s what I’m about.

How would you describe the overall vibe of the album?

I would call it a reflective album. I would definitely say that there’s something for everybody, regardless of what emotion you’re going through, there’s something on there for you. I just wanted it to be fun. When you come to a live show, I want you to dance and have a good time. I want you to be into the music, it’s really what it’s all about.

Continue reading Catching Up With Lee DeWyze

Music Review >> Lee DeWyze – “Sweet Serendipity”

“Sweet Serendipity” is the first single off of Lee DeWyze’s upcoming debut album, Live It Up. DeWyze wrote the track, along with David Glass (who also produced the song) and Jordan Lawhead.

Upon first listen, “Sweet Serendipity” is a lot more pop sounding than I was expecting from DeWyze’s first single. The song does have a slight Jason Mraz-y vibe to the melody that I definitely appreciate.

Right around the chorus is where the wordiness of the song becomes reminiscent of Kris Allen’s platinum selling debut single, “Live Like We’re Dying” that was released last year. The choruses of both of these singer’s respective songs are just packed with lyrics. In DeWyze’s case, his chorus is filled to the brim. I have to wonder how he plans to pull this song off live while staying on key, since singing on pitch wasn’t exactly what he was known for during his run on American Idol.

I do think that “Sweet Serendipity” is a good song. I figured that his first single would be a little more rough around the edges and not quite as polished. However, in a time where a song needs to be successful on the radio, I can understand why an upbeat and fun song was picked to lead off DeWyze’s album.

If you were a fan of DeWyze while he was on Idol, I think the song may initially throw you for a loop. Due to the catchy melody and lyrics, it should grow on you in no time.

“Sweet Serendipity” is available on iTunes now. DeWyze’s debut album, Live It Up will be released November 16.

For more information on Lee DeWyze, check out his official website.

Originally posted on BlogCritics.

Album News From American Idol’s Lee DeWyze

AmericanIdol.com exclusively revealed the title of season nine winner Lee DeWyze’s upcoming album is called Live It Up.

“Putting out an album on a major label is truly a dream come true,” 24-year-old DeWyze said in a press release. “I’m excited for all the people who supported me throughout Idol to hear what I can do with my own songs. The album shows a whole different side of me and I’m so proud of it.”

DeWyze worked with such record producers as Toby Gad (Alicia Keys, Kris Allen) and John Shanks (Bon Jovi, Melissa Etheridge) while recording the album during the American Idol Live tour this past summer. He also co-wrote many of the songs on Live It Up. Album cover for Lee DeWyze's album.

“To see my name listed in the credits on each song was really important to me because I’m a songwriter.” DeWyze said. “I also loved working with such talented writers. They all brought so much to the table and really helped me flesh out my sound.”

DeWyze’s first single, “Live It Up” will debut Wenesday, Oct 13 on On Air With Ryan Seacrest on KIIS FM.

The album Live It Up will be released Tuesday, November 16.

For more information on Lee Dewyze, please visit his website.

Originally posted at BlogCritics.