Can they do it? American Idol Season 8 takes a turn to the darkside this week, yes we go disco. The American Idol performers are being asked to go to those eight years when songs were dominated by beats, falsettos and vapid lyrics. There are exceptions and the American Idol Season 8 performers who find those songs will triumph. We have suggestions. Let’s just hope we do not have a repeat of last weeks timid movie song snorefest.
One21music is covering the Christian music performers competing on American Idol Season 8. We started with six of the Top 13 and we have four of the Top 7 still remaining. See our Top 7 Power Rankings II which shows Kris Allen, Danny Gokey and Matt Giraud topping our rankings. Lil Rounds, our fourth Christian music performer is struggling but has mad potential.
Disco, what can we say. From about 1972 to 1980 this producer dominated style of smooth dance music dominated the airwaves. It was everywhere. Disco was so dominate a genre that even rock icons Rod Stewart and The Rolling Stones leapt into that pool of polyester and platform shoes. Like any genre of music, there was some greatness to come out of the scene (Bee Gee’s “Staying Alive”, Donna Summer’s “Last Dance” and Michael Jackson’s “Off The Wall” among others) but the bulk of the music does not lend itself to a singing show like American Idol.
Matt Giraud and Adam Lambert, with their crazy falsettos and strong rhythm sensibilities, should thrive. Kris Allen, Danny Gokey and Lil Rounds can soar if they are careful to not overstep their strengths in service of these cool beats. Allsion Iraheta will struggle to bend the few songs that fit her rock and roll voice. Anoop Desai has been doing ballads for three weeks and he needs to continue this week.
- Kris Allen has the opportunity to secure his spot in the American Idol Season 8 Top 3, if he was able to find this song. In 1977, dance club diva Grace Jones covered Edith Paif’s “La Vin E Rose”. It is perfect for Kris Allen. “La Vin E Rose” is a beautiful love song (…when you kiss me, heaven sighs and though I close my eyes I see la vin e rose..) and Jone’s arrangement is based on acoustic guitars with Spanish rhythms, right in the Kris Allen wheelhouse. If he found it and performs it, every female in America will fall in love with him, us music snobs will respect his musical acumen and he will jet to the finals. Props to my wife for finding this.I suspect he did not make the connection with this song and I predict he will sing “More Than A Woman” from Saturday Night Fever.
- Danny Gokey could bring the entire country, except the cynics, to their knees tonight on American Idol disco night. Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes’ “The Love I Lost”, if performed as a quiet ballad, could singlehandedly cause an increase in the sell of facial tissue in America. Just read these lyrics and disagree that maybe even Simon might be moved:I can remember planning
Building my whole world around you
And I can remember hoping
That you and I could make it on through
But something went wrong
We loved each other
We just couldn’t get along
Take a good look at me
I’m in misery, can’t you see The love I lost (the love, the love I lost)
Was a sweet love (it was a sweet love)
The love I lost (the love, the love I lost)
Was complete love (it was complete love)
The love I lost (the love I lost)
I will never (never) no no never
(Never) love again ooh
I can’t remember nothing, no no
But the good times we used to share
I’m so sad and lonely
Without you my life is so dead
I’m sorry to say
You go your way and I’ll go my way
It hurts deep inside
The day we said goodbye, but…
Yesterday I compared Danny’s voice to Rod Stewart’s, but when you listen to Teddy Pendergrass sing “The Love I Lost” you can hear Danny Gokey.
Another choice for Danny is to connect with lyrics that speak to our faith by performing Stephanie Mills‘ “Never Knew Love Like This Before”
- Matt Giraud must be giddy. Is there a American Idol theme better suited to Matt’s singing, dancing and arranging skills? I think he swings for the fences this week and performs one of two disco/funk classics. In 1977 Marvin Gaye jumped into disco scene with his ode to losing your inhibitions on the dance floor “Got to Give It Up”. Just check out this video and tell me Matt Giraud could not tear this song up in 2 minutes:
Matt Giraud could also latch onto Michael Jackson’s 1980 break out solo record “Off The Wall”, another ode to letting yourself go to enjoy the dancing and the nightlife. Both songs are perfect for Matt’s style and skills but, since we have done so much Michael Jackson this year, the Marvin Gaye song would be more of a breakout.
- Allison Iraheta was a struggle for two reasons. First, disco does not really lend itself to a big voiced blues singer (ask Etta James and Martha Reeves). Second, most of the disco songs are really not appropriate for a 16 year old girl. I found two and I love them both.In 1975 Nat King Cole’s daughter, Natalie Cole, burst on the scene with the exuberant shouty romp to love “This Will Be”. Yes, it is the eHarmony jingle so there is a chance she will find it. The song is fun, it is loud and it has some room for Allison to show off her pipes. Check out a young Natalie Cole coming into herself as a performer
The other song is a classic, one of the top song’s of the 70′s, “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge. It would be good for her voice but it is too predictable for American Idol Season 8 disco night.
- Adam Lambert should sing Tina Turner’s ode to her hometown “Nutbush City Limits”. It sports a quick rock beat for his dancing and lyrics perfect for his high pitched screams. Like Tina Turner, this song would give Adam a chance to strut and scream to his full self.However, if Adam Lambert is very cocky about his American Idol standing he can take on the pinnacle of disco music, the Bee Gees “Stayin’ Alive”. The falsetto singing and driving beat captures the pace of New York in the mid 70′s and the spirit of disco like no other song. Just for fun, here is the full song, set to the full opening of Saturday Night Fever:
- Lil Rounds is on the ropes. She has avoided elimination over the past three weeks but her performances have not been good. She can blow away the competition with disco if she does two things. Pick the right song and slow the beat back to a modern R&B hip/hop pace.The best song for Lil Rounds is Donna Summer’s (not “Last Dance”) “I Love You”. Simple, beautiful lyrics of love sung by a women whom Lil sounds a lot a like. She needs to slow the beat down from 110 bpm to about 80 bpm so that she can groove like Mary J Blige. That is what we all want isn’t it?
If Lil Rounds wants to work off some of her anger at the American Idol judges, she can make the same beat changes and sing Gloria Gaynor’s “Never Can Say Goodbye”. With lyrics like “everytime when I think I have had enough and head straight for the door I feel a strange vibration..” and “I never want to let you go..” singing this song would maybe relieve a little of the tension that has built up around Lil Rounds.
- Anoop Desai faces a difficult task on American Idol this week. For several weeks he has been gaining momentum singing ballad’s, but that momentum will lose steam if he doesn’t start showing some versatility. Problem is, disco week is a big trap for Anoop. Everytime he has tried to break out his dancing shoes on American Idol Season 8, he has stumbled badly.The best song for Anoop to sing on American Idol disco night is “How Deep Is Your Love” from Saturday Night Fever. He can sing it and he can pour his personality into it. Problem is that it is another ballad and I think he will sucked into his dancing shoes. Look for him to break out “Brick House” from the Commodores. I think he will be in trouble again this week.
So there are the songs the American Idol contestants should perform. Not one of them called me asking for advice. I think Matt Giraud needs a killer performance this week to stay on the show. I think he is splitting votes with Danny Gokey and Kris Allen and he will lose that race. For some reason, Anoop has his own voting block separate from those three. Matt needs to blow Anoop away on Tuesday night. With two going, I will be surprised to see Lil Rounds make it past Wednesday, but the performances could change everything.
Check in with us tonight as we live blog American Idol Season 8 Disco Night. In the meantime download studio recordings and live performances of all of the Top 36 here at iTunes.