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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Albany: No Sympathy for the Soulman

Taylor Hicks and the Idol Gang were put through another concert night, and are suffering through yet another negative review. Steve Barnes, a writer with Albany's timesunion.com, an on-line news source attended the concert at Pepsi Arena. The review, titled American Idols Fill Pepsi Arena with Fans praises Chris Daughtry, shines a little love on Yamin but discounts all the rest of the performances.

Mr Barnes does make several valid points; why do the A.I. producers comprise a show that has the Idols delivering songs that are really outside most of their individual genres? The contest is over, the competition for the season decided and completed, but yet the performers are apparently still being challenged to perform tunes not a fit for their talents. At this point the public knows Bucky Covington is more suited for Lynyrd Skynyrd type rock, or even more country themed tunes, yet he's still singing "Superstitious", the Stevie Wonder song he sang in the show. Paris Bennet would be more suited for power ballads, not trying to be Beyonce', Kellie Pickler should be performing the Patsy Cline tune, "Walking After Midnight". She did a great job on that one during the show, why on tour is she glam rocking out? "Bohemian Rhapsody" has been on her song list in several venues, although not in this one. Instead she sang Melissa Etheridge's "I'm the Only One" and Raitt's "Let's Give Them Something to Talk About".

In Mr. Barnes article he writes this about Taylor Hicks:

    "The problem, then, is one of distinctive personality, of uniqueness, and that's in woeful sort supply in "America Idols Live."

    Hicks is the star example. He's got a measure of talent, a seasoned voice and good enough personality to be the best wedding singer you've ever seen. But he sped through "Jailhouse Rock," glopped faux emotion onto Bob Seger's "Hollywood Nights" and ruined the Beatles' "Don't Let Me Down" with a slinky George Benson jazz version.

Contrast those comments with:
    "Daughtry, in contrast, roared magnificently on Styx's "Renegade" and Bon Jovi's "Dead or Alive." He and Yamin provided the best duet of the night with a Nickelback tune (a group that, coincidentally, had preceded the Idols into the Pepsi a night earlier).

Mr. Barnes ends with pleading for airtime for Daughtry, and begs Tay to never do another "Do I Make You Proud".

Well I guess that's a notch above Ace Young being assigned toothpaste commercials by Barnes.

If I ever fell down the fortunate rabbit hole that would magically deliver Hicks to speak with me in an interview I'd ask him what, if any, impact does the costumed human sized Pop-tart prancing about prior to your performance bear? Does that tooth-achingly sweet giant confection lend any negative vibes to your soul groove? OK I'm kidding...(I hate the frosted ones, in fact the only Pop-Tart I could ever even think of eating was the brown sugar cinnamon sans frosting. Haven't seen those in stores in years. There the A.D.D. kicked in - let me return to topic...)

I'd also ask him his perceptions regarding reviews that he's "distant" from his audience in several venues. Perhaps fatigue, perhaps simply reviewers' interpretations.

I'd aks him how his success so far is weighing on his psyche. Are the muses being allowed in, or is life right now in this time rushing too fast to allow their voices to be heard?

I'd ask the trite inquiry whether he has had any time to get into the studio to begin recording his CD; I doubt that he has, the tour schedule is brutal.

I'd ask about life on the Idol tour bus - inquiring minds want to know...

I'd ask if he had any thoughts with cutting any music with any of the other Season 5 performers.

I'd ask where the inspiration came from regarding his selection of the Beatles' "Don't Let Me Down", infusing a jazz touch.

I'd ask him, "So Taylor, how well is 'the Devil' dancing so far?" I'd admonish him, to lead, not follow.

Regarding negative reviews, I'd tell the man, "Hold your head up Taylor Hicks, it's like 'water off a duck's back', man."

Groove on Soulman.


  1. jsenwod2:26 AM

    I like to ask concerning this review ... has anyone thought that Kat not being on tour has caused Taylor to be over loaded to fill the void ........ and prehaps have to sing more songs then was intended...??????????????????????

  2. jsenwod2:26 AM

    I like to ask concerning this review ... has anyone thought that Kat not being on tour has caused Taylor to be over loaded to fill the void ........ and prehaps have to sing more songs then was intended...??????????????????????

  3. Its true Hicks is carrying a huge load in these shows, plus the pace they are moving night after night, new place, new show. It is just wild how Taylor got hit with so much negative press throughout Idol, largely from the male reporters, and it continues. Lately every piece I read elevated Daughtry and slams Hicks. Chris is talented not one doubt there, but Taylor has much more to offer. I have been confused over the reviews and postings on fan sites that Tay doesn't interact more with the immediate fans in the audience, he seems to be reserved and keeping to himself on stage. I haven't had the priviledge to see the show myself so am curious what gives. Anyone care to comment would be appreciated greatly - who have been, seen and heard the show live.

  4. I was at this show....and Taylor KICKED A**!!!... as did everyone else. I am not sure where this reviewer is coming from at all...

    BTW if Taylor or anyone who knows him reads this...I'm sorry if I left a bad mark by grabbing your arm so hard as you ran by singing JHR....I was overcome w/ Hicksteria!!!! :0)