Paul Jolley Discusses His ‘American Idol’ Run

Continue reading Paul Jolley Discusses His ‘American Idol’ Run

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Video: Tim Halperin Covers The Beatles’ “Something”

Earlier today, season 10 American Idol Top 24 contestant Tim Halperin posted a new video of himself performing The Beatles’ “Something” on piano. 

Tim performed “Something” with Julie Zorilla  during the Vegas round of the Idol auditions earlier this year.

 Check out the video below!

I think he sounds fantastic as always! Hopefully there are more performance videos  from Tim on the way!

Head over to TimHalperin.com to get a free download of his new song, “The Last Song.”

And if you haven’t already, check out part one and part two of my interview with Tim from earlier this month.

Music Review >> Glee Cast – “Original Song”

In this week’s mix of music, Glee offered up three full-length original tracks, as well as three tracks from Dalton Academy’s Warblers, and a solo from Chris Colfer. To be honest, this was probably one of the best weeks for Glee, musically speaking.

Let’s talk about the original songs, shall we? Both “Get It Right” and “Loser Like  Me” debuted after the announcement that there would be original songs on Glee this season a few weeks ago.

Upon first listen, I was semi-horrified at “Loser Like Me.” It’s co-written by the master writer of all pop songs, Max Martin, so I felt like I had to give the song another chance. It’s definitely a Max Martin song. It has a good beat and cheesy, yet catchy lyrics.

I think that it should not have been sung by Lea Michele (Rachel) and Cory Monteith (Finn). I am assuming they were showcased in the song, since it was being used for Regionals, and neither of them were featured in the songs used for Sectionals. I think that Mark Salling (Puck) and Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina) would have been a better fit for the song. Ushkowitz is a wasted talent on the show and deserves her turn in the spotlight.

Michele’s voice on “Get It Right” is phenomenal. I love how her vocals are reined in, and then build up to that wonderful glory note. I seriously got chills while listening to it. I also love how the song related to Michele’s character’s storyline.

The thing with both “Get It Right” and “Loser Like Me” is that they work much better within context of the episode, which is definitely a good thing. I think both songs are pretty good anthems, and hopefully they do speak to the audience. But for me, I probably won’t be singing along to them in my car anytime soon.

“Hell To The No” was the third original song included in with this week’s song releases. Amber Riley (Mercedes) takes the lead on this very much ridiculous track. I just can’t take this song seriously when there’s a line about the previous tots storyline. Also, this is probably Riley’s weakest vocal performance to date. She sounded as if she was shouting throughout the length of the song.
Continue reading Music Review >> Glee Cast – “Original Song”

Idol Wired: New Judges: So Far, So Good!

American Idol has returned! I have to say, I’ve been quite hesitant about season 10. I am not someone who is fond of change, so with Simon Cowell leaving last season and Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez coming on board this go ’round, I have been very skeptical about how well season 10 could go.

Good news, I think Idol has a fighting chance at being pretty entertaining this year. I’m really happy the judges seem to be taking this season seriously for the most part.

To be honest, I haven’t watched the audition rounds prior to “Hollywood Week” since around season five. I really don’t like the bad auditions. I feel like the show wastes a lot of time on them, but tonight’s premiere seemed to have a good balance between good and bad auditions.

I definitely feel like Steven Tyler is going to be the fan favorite. The man is crazy and it will make for good TV. The censors at FOX are going to have a field day with him when the show goes live in a couple months.

Jennifer Lopez was disappointing at first, because it felt like all you had to do was cry in front of her and she’d let you through to the next round.

I think she’s definitely going to be the nurturer on the judging panel like Paula Abdul was. I think Lopez has a lot of empathy for the contestants, but she is going to have to learn how to utilize the word “no.”

Is it just me, or does anyone else think that Randy Jackson is over the moon about being in Simon’s old spot on the panel? You know he just couldn’t wait until it was his turn to give the final word.

I think Jackson is really trying harder to put his foot down, but with Lopez wanting to let everyone through, he’s kind of just letting her walk all over him. Part of me wonders if he was just doing that because it was their first day of auditions. Another part of me wonders if he’s going to be a pushover all season, because the star power on the panel wants to have all the say.

As far as contestants go, there were only a couple that really stuck out to me right away.

Fifteen-year-old Kenzie Palmer sang Carrie Underwood’s “Young and Beautiful.” In my opinion, I thought she had a strong audition. She’s got a fantastic voice and has a good chance to do well in the competition.

The other contestant that stood out to me was 16-year-old Robbie Rosen. He sang The Beatles’ “Yesterday.” It was a clean vocal. He’s got a good voice for pop music. Steven Tyler said that Rosen was “the best of New Jersey.”

Overall, I felt pretty underwhelmed by most of the talent. I think once “Hollywood Week” rolls around, that’s where we’ll start seeing the talent.

One thing the premiere was not light on was sob stories. There was the contestant whose father had cancer and the girl from Kosovo. The episode wrapped with the kid who had been living in a shelter with his family.

Don’t get me wrong. I am all for learning more about the contestants, but I would rather hear them sing first before I learn their back stories. I think once a contestant has made it past “Hollywood Week” and is going to be around for a while, that’s when I want to hear their interests and whatever stories they have to share. I feel like the beginning rounds should be influenced by talent only.

So Idol fans, what did you think about the season 10 premiere of American Idol? How are you feeling about the judges? And what contestant stood out to you during the New York/New Jersey auditions?

Originally posted at BlogCritics.

Review >> Music From ‘Glee,’ Episode 2×03 “Grilled Cheesus”

In this week’s bundle of Glee music from “Grilled Cheesus,” the audience gets to hear the first solos of the season from Glee’s most beloved characters who are not Rachel Berry.

Mark Salling (Puck) has his first big solo of the season with “Only The Good Die Young” by Billy Joel.

It’s great to hear from Salling so early in the season. However, the Glee vocal coaches should work with him on his vocal vibrato while holding longer notes and try to smooth them out.

Amber Riley (Mercedes) sounds absolutely beautiful singing Whitney Houston’s “I Look To You.” If any of the Glee cast can pull off Whitney, it’s Amber.

Her vocal runs at times felt unnecessary, but overall it’s a very strong vocal from Riley. This song is so much better than anything she sang during season one.

Lea Michele (Rachel) contributes this this week’s recordings with “Papa, Can You Hear Me” from Yentl.

What really can be said about Michele’s voice that hasn’t already been said? This is an absolute stellar recording. Michele has a voice to be reckoned with.

Chris Colfer (Kurt) sings “I Want To Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles in this week’s recordings.

I absolutely love how Glee chose to rearrange this song. It had such a dramatic feel that really captured the emotions that Colfer’s character was feeling.

Colfer has a really great vocal. I really hope he is featured more this season.

R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion” was a great song choice for Cory Monteith (Finn). However, what was not great was having him record it as an attempt to sound like Michael Stipe. Monteith has a great voice, there was no need for the sound-a-like vocal phrasing.

I loved that Amber Riley had two solos this week, but there was so much auto-tune used in her rendition of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” I couldn’t tell if it was Riley or Naya Rivera (Santana) singing the song at first.

The big group number of the week was a rendition of Joan Osbourne’s “One Of Us.”

Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina), Monteith, Michele and Colfer are the featured vocals on this track. I was really surprised that Salling was not featured on this track, because the song would have fit his voice perfectly.

The cast of Glee sound great altogether. It seems like every week their group numbers are getting better and better.

Glee airs Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. on FOX.

Originally posted at BlogCritics.