When Josiah Leming appeared on American Idol during Season seven, all of us at my house were rooting for him. His story was compelling, a kid on his own on the road, simply trying to make his music. So when he was booted during Hollywood Week, we were bummed.
Now he has a new album that came out in January 2009 — Angels Undercover. This album contains five songs he's written and performed, including "To Run", which he played during his time on American Idol.
Here's my only problem with Leming. His unique sound (with sort of a British pop voice from the 1960s) begins to sound very whiny after a while. The first time I listened to this EP, the speakers made him sound extremely tinny, which I attribute to the lack of significant bass in my car speaker setup. But once I played the album on a better stereo at home, the bass reduced the whiny/tinny nature to the point where I could enjoy the music.
By far, my favorite songs on the EP tell stories. "This Cigar" is the best on the CD. It tells the story of the transition we all face as we grow up. He's told that all winners smoke cigars, but he avoids cigarettes and alcohol. It burns a hole in his pocket and he's constantly defending himself against these bad "cigar" type influences as he earns his way along. It ends with a great a capella segment that shows his skills at arranging as well as songwriting.
Another favorite is "To Run" - the song that really won our hearts during his time on American Idol. It's been fine tuned a bit since then, but the core is still there. It tells the story of his pursuit of a girl that doesn't go well, leaving him trying to figure out where to run.