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Music Review: American Idol – Season 5 Encores Skip the CD and Focus on the Memories

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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.

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About Dominick Evans

  • you need to get bucky on the t,.v please iwanthim on there please i miss him alot tell him i said hiiiiiiiiiiiii ok tell bucky that my name is carley

  • Chaklo

    I enjoy most of the cd. I think “I’m Every Woman” is my favorite track.Mandisa did a fantastic job on the show and on this cd as well.She is definetely a fantastic vocalist. I also like “Midnight Train To Georgia”.

  • Paul

    I listened to the CD and I disagree with pretty much everything you said. I honestly felt that Mandisa did a wonderful job when she sang “I’m Every Woman” I felt it in her voice how good of a singer she is and it blew me away. It was not a terrible song choice nor was it anywhere near a terrible performance. The song moved me. Secondly, the other contestants I felt did a really good job with their songs, too. Lastly, I will say the other song choices you thought that was bad “Midnight Train To Georgia” by Paris I completely disagree with you. Paris really did a fantastic job with that song. For a girl so young as Paris to be able to pull off a song like that is so amazing. “Walkin’ After Midnight” by Kellie wasn’t bad, either. The only thing I agree with is when you said that Ace could have chosen another song but I disagree with the song “That’s All” I thought Ace should have sung “In The Still Of The Night”

  • April

    I dont agree with you at all. I think the cd is great. I bought it they day it came out and I love to listen to it. And the Idols didn’t have too many options for a song choice b/c right after they had the top 12 picked they had to begin production on the cd immediately. And Mandisa did a wonderful job.

  • Tyler

    I agree that it probably wasn’t the best AI CD but I honestly don’t think that most of the songs you have mentioned as being “bad” were really that bad. Besides it’s not the Idol’s choice of what song they sing on the CD its the Producer’s.

  • munaim

    I liked most of them, but why Kevin chose the song that got him kicked off and Lisa the song that put her in the bottom three for the first time in three straight trips to the seal is beyond me.

    I love Paris!!

  • I think “Takin’ It To The Streets” for Taylor was a great choice. I loved “Midnight Train to Georgia” by Paris Bennett and you’re absolutely right about “Black Horse and a Cherry Tree” for Katharine, or maybe “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” instead.

  • Nancy

    I didn’t love the album and have only played it all the way through once. I did love Ace Young’s Father Figure and Melissa McGee’ssong proved she was ousted too early. Otherwise it was kind of dull.

  • Different Strokes for Different Folks Tyler. I personally think Mandisa is an all around terrible performer, but that is just me.

    Who am I to say this? Well a consumer just like you. However, on the whole, most American Idol fans I’ve seen tend to agree with me on the song choices being wrong on Encores so I’m not terribly bothered you disagree with my assessment.

  • Tyler

    I completely disagree with everything you just said. I think that the song choices were great especially Mandisa’s “Im Every Woman”. Have you heard her sing that live? She is amazing. I really think you need some help when it comes to picking out good music.

  • JeNN

    I agree with you. Im a Huge Chris Daughtry fan and anything he does to me is great, but I would have rather heard him sing Renegade. As for Bucky who was my 2nd Fav I would have loved Thunder Rolls or Wave on Wave. I think they need to let the Idols pick there Fav song and see how it works, they know there voices better than anyone else. Just my opinion.

  • I agree. The song choices were just so random and unpleasant. As I said, even Ashtyn’s mom hated it and she loves everything about American Idol!

  • Debbie

    Wave on Wave or Best I Ever Had would have been much better choices for Country singer Bucky Covington. It would have been nice of American Idol to pick songs to match the performer!