Friday, August 04, 2006

Coming to Terms and realizing it's not about me


I'm done. I'm finished. I just needed a day to process that the album that Clay will release on September 19th is not the album that I wanted. But you know what? It's not about me. It's about Clay. It's about Clay and what HE wants to do. It's about Clay and what HE wants to sing. It's about Clay and what HE feels is right for him. My rant was selfish because it was about what I want. And I'm not the boss of Clay Aiken's career.

I just want so much for Clay. I feel that vocally, he is the premiere talent of his generation and I don't want that incredible talent to be shrugged off because people may put labels on what Clay has chosen to do with his career. Maybe I'm just scared that he won't get the critical acclaim that I think he deserves. And, man, oh, man, does he ever deserve it. But again, it's not about me.

This is only Clay's second mainstream album. Maybe he's taking baby steps. Maybe he's experimenting with just what that incredible voice can do. Maybe this CD will be a Tour de Force of vocal beauty. I'm just having trouble with knowing that there's very few, if any uptempo, rock-ish songs on the CD when clearly he does them so well and his fans eat it up with a spoon.

Maybe Clay doesn't think of himself as a rocker. Maybe he thinks his strengths lie in ballads. After all, he sings ballads better than anyone else in the world. As I said, it's Clay's career and I'm either on board or I quietly leave the fandom. And you know what? I ain't going anywhere. I'm here for the long haul. Clay Aiken has the talent and the charisma to keep me glued to my computer, buying his CD's, and attending his concerts forever.

I can sit here and tell myself that he's under contract to RCA and Clive made his do this CD, that Clay wanted to do something different, but you know what? I'll never know. Not unless Clay talks about it sometime in the future and I don't think he ever will. He holds his cards close to his vest and I'll never be an intimate friend of his, so all I can do is either decide to support him or get off this crazy ride that I'm on. I'm supporting Clay Aiken. I'm having too much freaking fun to do otherwise. I'm anxious. I'm anxious to hear the CD, I'm anxious to hear what he's done with the arrangements, with his voice and I'm DYING to hear the song that Clay wrote. I don't think there's anything in this world that will make me like that Richard Marx song, even Clay, but what will he do with the Dolly Parton song? Why did he pick that? It's going to be very interesting to hear the arrangement.

And the Susie Song? The fandom calls it 'IWKWLI', or 'I Want to Know What Love Is', that's hard to type out, so, since he duets with Susie McNeil from Rock Star: INXS, I'll just call it The Susie Song. In the snippet that I heard (I heard mostly her part), she kicks all kinds of ass so I can't wait to hear the finished product.

I just needed a day to process the loss of 'Back for More' and I was really hoping to hear 'I Can't Make You Love Me' without all the screaming that happened at the concerts last summer, a studio version of that song, like he did with 'My Grownup Christmas List' on GMA last Christmas. Every time I watch that video, I cry. That song, and what Clay did with, it moves me to tears with the sheer gorgeousness of his vocal interpretation.

Clay Aiken needs to craft his career the way that makes him happy so he keeps singing to me for the rest of my life. I'm cool with that. Although he may not sing that kinds of songs that I would prefer, I can get on board with what he chooses. He hasn't disappointed me yet.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

An Open Letter to Clive Davis

I'm going to take a little break from my walk down memory lane. Wouldn't you know it? Clay just had to go and release a new CD. The nerve *g*


Dear Clive,

You Da Man. You found Janis, you discovered Bruce. You brought Whitney to the forefront. Three of THE most influential artists in the past 50 years. Now you're working with Clay Aiken:


I do not understand how you could waste the talent of the century on songs shot to hell with pabulum like the track listing on A Thousand Different Ways. The greatest voice this generation will ever hear, and you found a way to cut him off at the balls. I just don't understand how one could take a talent as great as Clay and totally screw him over by making him sing warmed-over dreck. Did you not hear him KILL on 'Back For More'? Did you not witness the throngs of people who turned that song into a concert arena anthem? Did you not notice a quarter of a million people who attended The Jukebox Tour rock out with Clay? Did you not notice his song choices, like U2's 'Where the Streets have No Name', Prince's 'When Doves Cry', 'Chain of Fools'? That boy has some green-eyed soul in him and enough rocker to satisfy the most discriminating tastes.

There's a time and a place for ballads, and a Clay CD with 50% ballads would be OK. His middle-aged fans, of which I am one, do not want bland, syrupy songs, we want rocking songs, songs that kick ass, songs that we can groove to, dance to, be on our feet for a 2-1/2 hour concert. After all, we grew up with The Beatles, The Stones, Led Zep, Zappa, Hendrix, Bruce, Bon Jovi, etc, etc, etc. Just because we've aged doesn't mean that we've lost all semblance of our musicality.

Per Clay's press release, about you: He is a man who not only knows music, but really has his finger on the pulse of what listeners want to hear

The pulse just flat-lined.


A Member of the Vanilla Revolution

Stay tuned, readers. I'll get over my initial disappointment and love the CD, I'm sure, because it's Clay Freaking Aiken singing, the greatest voice I've ever heard. I just need a moment (tm Jemock) or two to digest everything.

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