Most American Idol fans were more than excited to get their hands on the latest CD promoting the American Idol franchise, American Idol: Season Five Encores. Season Five was definitely the most entertaining and talent-filled season of the show. The show offered plenty of great singers and songs, which is why I considered buying the CD. Unfortunately, this is where the good times end.
This CD features the top twelve choices for the next American Idol, singing one song a piece for a robust twelve-song CD. Normally, twelve songs is a good number for a CD. There are not too many songs to make you want to rip the CD out of the stereo if you don't like it and there are just enough songs that if you do like the music you don't feel jipped. Sadly, for me, American Idol: Season 5 Encores fits in the first category. It just comes out feeling stale.
It would have been better if more thought had gone into the song selection. Some of the very best songs came towards the end of the season. While this wasn’t an option for early Idol retiree Melissa McGhee and “Chicken Little” crooner, Kevin Covais many of the other Idols had at least a few options that were much better than what was offered to us with this CD.
The best options offered to you on this CD are small, but there are a few good moments nonetheless. Chicken Little’s rendition of "When I fall in Love" was on of the best songs on the CD. Chris Daughtry doesn’t disappoint with his rendition of Bon Jovi’s "Dead or Alive" though I think that it would have been a better choice to have "Renegade" placed on the CD instead. Finally, while not my favorite, "Moody’s Mood for Love" by the soulful and jazzy Elliott Yamin is better than most of the songs on the disc, but again this was not my favorite song by Elliott.
If you are an Idol fan, it is almost a surefire bet you will be as questioning, as I am, the music choices. Questioning why Katharine McPhee sang "Think" instead of the better sounding "Black Horse and The Cherry Tree", and why Ace Young played "Father Figure" instead of crooning "That’s All" (which was a surprising and sentimental change, even if it did get him knocked off of the show) is a natural thing. So do not be surprised to be disappointed.
Some of the other badly chosen songs include "Superstition", sang by Bucky Covington, "I’m Every Woman", by Mandisa, and "Takin’ it to the Streets", by AI winner Taylor Hicks. The CD wraps it up with rather plain performances by Lisa Tucker who sang "Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m yours)", "Walkin’ after Midnight" by Kellie Pickler, and finally "Midnight Train to Georgia" by Paris Bennett.
Add this to the fact that the cover art was somewhat campy, with all the faces lined up in a box of Idols (a la Brady Bunch) you have a CD that just plain misses the mark. While I wanted to like it, I realized after more than one listen I just could not get into it.
The icing on the cake was when my mother-in-law, a diehard American Idol fan and the nicest, most complimenting person I know who often disagrees with my musical assessments, happened to breeze into the room while Ashtyn and I were listening to it. Her take on the American Idol CD (which I was going to gift to her), was negative. She didn’t like it and it wasn’t worth the money any one could have spent on it.
I have decided to stick with my favorite memories of American Idol which I have kept on DVR. If you loved this season, I recommend the same for you. Here’s hoping the individual CD’s of this talented 12-some will be better because American Idol: Season Five Encores will prove to be a let down for any true blue Idol fan.