American Idol . . . Again!

It’s down to the top 12 and I’m pulled in, once again. In fact, American Idol is on right now. Doesn’t hurt that they’re paying tribute to the formidable Lennon-McCartney songbook. Those boys proved to be every bit the team that Rodgers and Hart were a generation (or two) earlier. And I’m a huge fan of both duos.

Anyway, this is a posting as much about the Beatles as about twelve budding talents who alternately did the boys from Liverpool proud or . . . not so much.

I was joking with someone about identifying with different Beatles — as an alternative to Myers-Briggs profiles. “I’m an INTP” (i.e., Introverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Perceiving) becomes “I’m a George with a Ringo rising, a Paul minor and a nod to John.” Yeah, I know — maybe a separate blog.

So how did the kids do with the songs tonight? Remember, as a singer, I call ’em like I see ’em

  • Got to Get You Into My Life (Syesha Mercado) — Energetic and it almost stepped out of pop into an R&B groove. Almost.
  • She’s a Woman (Chikezie) — A whole new version emerged from the DNA in this song and it came to life on the stage.
  • In My Life (Ramiele Malubay) — Sweet and forgettable. And this has practically been my life’s theme song.
  • If I Fell (Jason Castro) — Saccharin and soporific. The original, of course, is pure sorcery.
  • Come Together (Carly Smithson) — Janis Joplin never did a Beatles cover but this performance hinted what that may have been like. Pretty powerful and no SOuthern Comfort in sight.
  • Eleanor Rigby (David Cook) — An earnest and driving interpretation, the singer hell-bent on turning this sensitive gem into a rock anthem. It’s a sensitive gem.
  • Let It Be (Brooke White) — Since the first time I heard this song (the Beatles’ last single), the words and melody have never entirely left my head. And it came across pure and strong tonight.
  • I Saw Her Standing There (David Hernandez) — From the early years, this song may be more memorable for the bowl-cut, hairdo shakes and the falsetto ooohs than for the music and words. Done tonight with little genuineness
  • You Can’t Do That (Amanda Overmyer) — A maniacal karaoke singer takes the stage in a hillbilly bar and kinda pulls it off
  • Across the Universe (Michael Johns) — Straight-ahead and straight-up. Nice to see the song out in front sometimes and this kid had the wisdom to do exactly that.
  • Eight Days a Week (Christy Lee Cook) — A country gum drop arrangement that did no favors to the song, the Beatles, or the singer.
  • We Can Work It Out (David Archuleta) — Poor kid choked on every third word and lost all focus. Plus, he let us see him sweat. Ouch!

No comment on the judges tonight. They were the only adolescents on the show I could see.

So, a few of the treasures in the Beatles songbook were put in the spotlight tonight. Some sparkled more than others but all of them deserve to be sung over and over and over again. Singing a well-crafted song — or just cuddling with your sweetie as you both listen, enraptured — is good for the soul. Pull these songs into your life. Celebrate them.

Plan a karaoke night that’s Beatles only. Take all your friends. And tell me how it goes.

Oh yeah, if I’d sung tonight, I would have chosen “I’ve Just Seen a Face.”

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One Response to “American Idol . . . Again!”

  1. thats for sure, guy

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