Friday, March 23, 2007

Elliott Yamin, His First Album

Elliott Yamin - Elliott Yamin

I'm glad Elliott's out there with a career, an album, his own niche. He was a great guy on American Idol, sort of shy, with various rough spots in his life and health, and blessed with a very nice mother. I liked seeing them in the parade on one of the episodes, getting the happiness of their hometown friends.

Throughout the album, Elliott's voice is nice and smooth; he could endorse throat lozenges, and it's nice to hear. This is a good album that could be better. But if you put it on and read, sewed, worked on scrapbooking, looked at photo albums, you would find it very pleasant.

The songs are of a older, laid-back style, with several modern nods. One of the tracks, "Wait For You," brings Chris Brown to mind. There are some jazzy moments, like "Movin' On" right at the start of the album. There's one track, "Find A Way," that comments on social issues, but with so much middle-of-the-road idealism that it wouldn't be disagreeable to normal people.

Elliott's voice is in fine form throughout. He can sing and has that beautiful smoothness. Also, he sings with great conviction, even when the relationship songs he's singing don't rise far above the generic variety. They're pleasing in tone, in tune, they just don't go very far in saying much.

"Free" has some very pretty background work, and Elliott sounds great in the mix. "Tell me what you're hiding from ... hold fast to your dreams ... don't be afraid to fly, alone in the sky. When you do then you'll be free ... nothing is impossible ... you will achieve the unexplainable ... I believe that miracles happen..." I really like this song, it's very nice, one of my faves. But then "Alright" is not a favorite with its disco feel. The disco effects seem foreign to the album's overall feel.

Then "Take My Breath Away." I really don't want a song that brings Rex Smith's "You Take My Breath Away" to mind. It's a song to "Girl, when you do what you do to me..." One of those. "You take my breath away." The song is probably OK, from a reputable songwriting mill somewhere (not breeding mongrels and open for inspection), but it gets my low moment vote.

The album ends with "A Song For You," which he sang on the show, one of the connections to Donny Hathaway that he made on the show. It sounds great, very familiar and nice, with just Elliott and the piano.

This is a good album, a good start for Elliott. Any true fan will love it, hope for his success, and, as they say on American Idol, hope he raises the bar next time.

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