I grabbed Taylor Hick's CD and Elliot Yamin's CD.
Taylor Hicks, I'm kind of disappointed. The singing is just as good as I would expect from him but what is disappointing is that the album seems over produced. This guy got big by bringing a backwaters style of funky blues to the American Idol stage where such diversity in the music was sorely lacking. He showed that real talent doesn't fit a physical mold. This album, while it has a funk to it seems watered down and it's like someone tied him down in a sense. I'm not getting the whole "Soul Patrol" sense in the album and nothing really stands out. I mean, the music is good, not great, just good. You can tell there is way more potential there and it's almost painful to listen to because you keep waiting for the breakout, shouting, powerful bridge in the song that he belted out so many times on the show and it never comes. They wonder why the album hasn't sold all that well and I know why. Because this isn't the same Taylor Hicks we got to see on the show and that is a sad shame. They should let him be him and I'll bet his albums will go multi-platinum.
Elliot Yamin, this is a different story altogether! This kid should have gone farther than he did in the show. I was stunned when I heard that 4 months after the show had wrapped up production, he still hadn't gotten a record deal and I wished I was a producer so I could have gotten him in to a studio. Well, somebody did and this album is smooth! It has style, it has grace and the influences are legendary! Aside from having Donny Hathaway songs on the album, he has a definite Donny Hathaway influence. There is also a Stevie Wonder vibe in there too. Overall though, this album's only disappointment is maybe in the arrangements and the recording quality. There is definite compression artifacts that do not lend kindly to Yamin's sometimes raspy low-end register. But this kid has got pipes and deserves an audition. One of the few true talents to come out of American Idol. Grab this album and give it a listen, I don't think you'll be disappointed, especially if you are a R&B and Soul fan.