Friday, December 21, 2007

The Next Great American Band - Finale

And your winner is.................................................................

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Is it Sixwire????

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Is it The Clark Brothers???

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Is it Denver and the Mile High Orchestra???

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Find out real soon...........

Clark Brothers - Finale


Sixwire - Finale


Denver and The Mile High Orchestra - Finale


And the winner is..................................

Blake Lewis - CD release party - Showbox 12-20-07

Blake had his album release party in Seattle at the Showbox. It was apparently sold out, and an amazing show!

Doxology and The Mob Law opened the festivities and were really good.

Then it was Blake's turn to be on stage!

According to Blake's dad:

They rocked out. Started with Silence is golden, special edition. Did all the songs and mixed up the order great. I think HMW and HMH were great hits. “End of the world” really blew me away live.. It was really better watching him (them) perform it than listening to the recording. The band is getting tuned in and harmonies are getting better every performance. I think when the tour is underway they will be tight…….with a big T. They ended with Break anotha and killed it. I was surprised that by the end of the show they still had awesome energy.


You can read more of his thoughts on the show at Team Plaid.

According to Jess from IDF, the set list was as follow:

Silence Is Golden
Gots To Get Her
Know My Name
Here's My Hello
End Of The World
1000 Miles
What'cha Got To Lose (with a SWEET slowed-down harmony at the end)
She Loves The Way
(The picture of the set list says Jealousy, but they didn't play that.)
Human (listed as I'm Just Human on the set list)
How Many Words
Emotional Waterfalls
Improv
Break Anotha


Seattle PI.com has a nice review of the show:

As could be predicted, Lewis' set ended with "Break Anotha," his record's first single. Prior to the song, Lewis, Ra Scion of Common Market, and A.D.D. broke into a 10-minute freestyle jam.

It was the highlight of the night because it showcased Lewis' genre-melding tendencies, starting as a Phish-style romp then taking a turn into hip-hop territory and ending on a ragtime note, complete with a horn section.


And here are some videos! I'll add more as they are published.


Know My Name
(From: BrittanyRenee2007)


Gots To Get Her
(From: MsHazel23)


1000 Miles
(From: MsHazel23)


She Loves the Way
(From: BrittanyRenee2007)


Human
(From: BrittanyRenee2007)


Blake Lewis and RJ Scion from Common Market
(From: BrittanyRenee2007)


Blake Lewis-Beatbox with The Mob Law
(From: BrittanyRenee2007)


End of Break Anotha
(From: BrittanyRenee2007)

Blake Lewis on TLR 12-19-07

Enjoy!!! The ADD Q&A was particularly funny. :)

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Blake Lewis - Mike and Juliet Show - Dec 07

Watch the first part of the interview here:

http://www.mandjshow.com/videos/american-idol-finalist-blake-lewis/

Then watch Blake answering questions while strapped to a lie detector:



And finally, to know a little more about the lie detector stunt, read Juliet's blog:

http://www.mandjshow.com/blog/dec-18-blake-lewis-unplugged/

Blake Lewis, One Republic - Jingle Ball Frenzy

Tacoma, WA 12/04/07

Some cute pics can be found here:
http://kiss1061.com/pages/1290671.php?

One Republic - Stop and Stare (Acapella)


Blake Lewis - Break Anotha


Blake Lewis - introducing the band


Blake Lewis - Know My Name




Columbus, OH 12/13/07

How Many Words
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDfClG3q6KI

Blake getting his fanboy on


Blake Lewis - Beatboxing


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More pictures at Team Plaid



Philadelphia, PA 12/16/07

Blake Lewis - Break Anotha


Blake Lewis - How Many Words

Monday, December 17, 2007

Greg and Andrew to shoot DVD at historic Toronto venue

Greg and Andrew to shoot DVD at historic Toronto venue

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20071217/CI5_Neufeld_Austin_071217/20071217?s_name=idol2007&no_ads=

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Greg Neufeld and Andrew Austin have the perfect gift for Toronto residents looking to head out on the town over the holidays -- a concert and DVD shoot in one of the best venues in the city.

The two former Canadian Idol competitors, who met during the Top 200 week during Season 4 and were reunited on Season 5, will be ripping up the stage at the converted Berkeley Church on Queen Street East on Dec. 29. The event will be recorded and used to create a DVD supplement for Neufeld's upcoming album.

Neufeld, who placed seventh on Idol's Season 5 and in the Top 14 on Season 4, is billing the show as one of the biggest of his career.

"It's just an amazing room," he told Eye on Idol, referring to the building's legendary acoustics. "We were like, 'we have to play a show here. We have to do it.'"

The Berkeley Church was built in 1871 and, since its transformation to a live event venue, has hosted such famous names as The Fugees, Sam Roberts and Coldplay. It still contains the former church's original 17-foot stained glass windows.

"The Berkeley Church is the coolest venue in the universe," added Austin, who made it to Top 44 in Season 4 and Top 18 in Season 5. "Or at least in Toronto. It's like a dream venue for a musician and for the audience."

The venue carries special significance in the world of Canadian Idol. Neufeld himself did some on-camera interviews in the location during Season 5, and the Barenaked Ladies' workshop during Season 3 was also shot there.

Austin, who recently released a CD called "Just the Way I Feel," said he's glad to be playing with Neufeld both because they're friends, and because Neufeld was the competitor he had picked to win.

"I still think it was crazy that Greg got voted off that early," Austin told Eye on Idol. "I thought he was the best guy in the contest. I'm glad Brian won because I think he's great too, but Greg was my favourite guy in the show."

Tickets for the all-ages show are $20 and available online through Ticketbreak.

Music Survey - Concerts

For once I found a survey floating around on the net that was about music!!! Just some silly fluff... :)


List 10 artists you've seen live in concert - no peeking at the questions before

1. INXS
2. Lukas Rossi
3. Greg Neufeld
4. The Killers
5. One Republic
6. Blake Lewis
7. Daughtry
8. Planet Smashers
9. The Watchmen
10. Bryan Adams


Song you wish you'd seen number 2 do?
His entire catalogue?

How many times have you seen number 3?
Only once... He'll be at The Berkely Church on the 29th of december, so hopefully my answer here will change!

Where did you see number 9 play?
Montreal. Can't remember the name of the club, but it was small - 500 at most... The crowd was so not into it, it was pretty bad... It's too bad, the band was AWESOME!!!

Favorite song number 8 played?
Pee in the Elevator - it's such a silly song, but the beat is awesome and you can't help but move to it!

Who did you see number 7 with?
With friends! Beth, Brenda and Roberta. Love those girls! They let me get my fangirl on. :)

Favorite venue you've seen 4 play?
I've seen them once.

Favorite concert moment from number 6?
Well, Blake was not exactly by himself on stage the whole concert. Yep, I went to an American Idol Tour concert... Hey, I had to do it to see Blake! Favorite moment from him would have to be the whole freaking thing. From his little 3 songs set where he loops himself to the medley he sang with Chris Richardson to the beat boxing battle... All of it was great.

Best thing about number 1's performance?
I've seen INXS 7 times in 2 years. They ALWAYS deliver. They are a fantastic live band that really, really connects with the crowd. All of them, including the drummer. Even if you are sort of meh on their music... Go see them live. You won't regret it!

Why did you go to see number 10?
Coz I love him! I saw him almost 15 years ago. It was only the second concert I had attended... We had cheap tickets in the nosebleeds, but it was still totally worth it. I danced my booty off in the stands, and sang along at the top of my lungs. It was great!

How many times have you seen number two?
Once with Supernova and three times as a solo act. I hope to see him again real soon with his new band, Stars Down!

Favorite concert you've ever been to for number 8?
I've only seen them once, so I guess that was my favorite from them!

Best cover song you've seen from number 4?
They did not play a cover song

Would you go to see number 7 again?
In a heart beat. The one time I've seen them, they were opening for another band, but I was totally there for Daughtry only. So I can't wait to go see them as the headliner!

Song you never really liked until seeing number 1 in concert?
None of them. I have my favorites, but everything they play I love.

Which albums do you own from number 6?
His American Idol EP *LOL* and his debut album, Audio Day Dream

Worst thing about number 3's concert?
It was way too short! He opened for Lukas Rossi and played for about 30-45 minutes. I could have listen to him sing and play for the entire night.

The only three songs that number 3 would have to play to make a concert?
Rewind
Ever You
I'm Ready

How far did you travel to see number 5?
I've seen them once, in my own city. I'll see them again for sure when they come back here.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Next Great American Band - Top 3

Weird night tonight.... Light of Doom has been eliminated.


Denver and The Mile High Orchestra - September (Earth, Wind & Fire)



I HATE that song. Denver's vocals were really flat and without energy.


The Clark Brothers - Change the World (Clapton)



I didn't like it. Vocally, Ashley was great. But I didn't like the arrangement. They took out the melody of the song, and for me, that really didn't work. I appreciated the added lyrics at the end tho. It added a lot to the song.


Sixwire - Reeling in the Years (Steely Dan)



This was well sung, well played, but somehow it left me a bit cold. Lack of energy maybe? The guitar was killer (I think I have a crush on Steve!).



Round 1 - slight edge to Sixwire



Denver and The Mile High Orchestra - Vehicle by Ides of March

No. Just. No. It's too bad, because musically, this is a great song for the band. But Denver ruins it with uninspired lyrics that lacked some serious energy. It was better by the end, when Denver added a bit of spunk to the vocals.



The Clark Brothers - Amazed by Lonestar

OMFG. They gave me chills. This was beautifully played, beautifully sung. Damn Ashley is nervous tho. Nothing that really challenged them tho.


Sixwire - I'd Really Love to See You Again (Dan & Foley)

Like the Clark Bros, this song didn't challenge the band at all. It was nice, beautiful even. The harmonies were great.... Guitar playing awesome.



Round 2: Slight edge to The Clark Brothers



Denver and The Mile High Orchestra - Original

Best of the night for them. But again, there's something lacking.


The Clark Brothers - This Little Light of Mine

I absolutely adored that they sung the song that first got them in this competition. They needed this after their other two songs. That was amazing!


Sixwire - Good to Be Back

Great, great song. Glad they came back to that. This song is ready to be played on the radio.


Round 3: Slight edge to Sixwire.


I felt like tonight was a bit off for everyone. It's weird - Ashley seemed awfully nervous tonight. Andy's singing was very flat, and Denver's was even more so than usual. My feeing is that the producers want Sixwire to win - they are more easily marketable, and seem to have great material that is radio ready. But I would love The Clark Brothers to win....

Avril Lavigne and Jim McGorman - Best Buy Performance - Burnaby BC

Best Buy Canada held a free concert in Burnaby, BC on December 2nd. A relly heavy snow was falling, but it didn't stop Avril and the band from rocking out!!!



When You're Gone



Christmas Carols



Girlfriend (can't see Jim, but the snow is unbelievable!)



Wanna see more? Click on THIS YOUTUBE LINK to find more than 20 clips of Avril and the band singing in the snow!

Also make sure to visit Jim's Thread at RockBandLounge for some nice pictures from allmusic.fan who attended the event!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Blake Lewis - Latest Headlines

Blake Lewis Enters The Album Chart At #10 And iTunes Publishes Its Best Sellers Of 2007
http://chartrigger.blogspot.com/2007/12/blake-lewis-enterts-album-chart-at-10.html

Exerpt:

Audio Day Dream turned out to be a really great pop album, despite a few cookie-cutter Hip hop numbers, but perhaps the problem lies with Arista trying to market it with the lackluster "Break Anotha" as the first single. On iTunes, the public has taken the matter into their own hands by downloading the Human League-esque synth ballad "How Many Words" enough times for it to land in the online store's Top 100 Songs. Currently it's at #96.




A Brief Chat With Blake Lewis…
http://blogs.glam.com/glamscene/2007/12/13/a-brief-chat-with-blake-lewis/


Exerpt:

What’s been the biggest change in your life since American Idol?
The biggest change? Well I guess making my album. I’ve always wanted to [record] so I guess that’s a big change, but other than that, I’ve had a lot of new experiences. I’ve done interviews, like we’re doing now. I’m doing television more and more. I’m on stage and performing. And now I have a record!




BLAKE LEWIS SECOND RECORD PRAISED BY CRITICS
http://www.sonybmg.ca/news.cgi#news70897


Blake Lewis is better than a silver medal. Though he was an inch from snatching the top spot on the sixth season of American Idol, his new outing Audio Day Dream speaks for itself as an exceptional effort of pop and rock.

The multi-genre dipping, beat-boxing, heart throb of a talent says there is no boundary for his influences. 'Audio Day Dream' is an '80s-induced pop album with new school electronic vibes.

The album dominated the iTunes Top Pop Albums chart immediately after its first week, selling nearly 100,000 copies. Critics have supported his style and accepted 'Audio Day Dream' as an outstanding Idol release.

"This might be the most breathlessly paced, detail-packed "Idol" outing yet...as his performances on the show demonstrated, Lewis boasts a proudly eclectic creative sensibility..." (Los Angeles)

"Lewis has hit the most distinctive sound ever to come from an "Idol" Star...he also came up with the best album by any "Idol" alum yet... Blake Lewis....has actually come up with an album, "Audio Day Dream," that works perfectly as pop, but which also has a sense of - gasp! - edge." (Daily News)

"Co-writing all but one tune - and judiciously working that beatboxing - Lewis emerges with a stronger identity, proving, like Chris Daughtry, that winning isn't everything... Lewis definitely seizes his moment on "Audio Day Dream" (People Weekly)

"...Lewis nimbly negotiates ballads and rhythmic pop ditties..." (USA Today)

"The "Idol" runner-up now is liberated to enchant with his own "Audio Day Dream." And he does." (AP)

"...Lewis has delivered a post-Idol statement likely to advance his personality, with all its jittery contradictions." (The New York Times)

"Lewis gives fans plenty to get excited about here, even those with short attention spans." (Billboard)

"The music found on the album is shocking for all the right reasons: it's funky, filled with '80s-pop hooks and sounds like a knowing mash-up of Prince and Maroon 5..." (Blender.com)

"Snappy hip-hop beats and sampling thrills flavor ever track..." (Philadelphia Daily News)

"...oodles of charisma and a surprising musical backbone..." (Boston Herald)

"Bshorty's got a bombshell" (Seattle Post Intelligencer)

"Inside you'll find an entertaining blend of pop, hip-hop and techno, with more of an edge than we've come to expect from the average "Idol" crowd-pleaser." (The Plain Dealer)

Blake Lewis - Blender Interview and Star Power Interview

Interview: American Idol's Blake Lewis Talks Potty Humor, Natalie Portman
http://www.blender.com/news/comments.aspx?article=10242

Excerpt:

B: On AOL's Sexiest American Idols list you were ranked fifth, one above Carrie Underwood and one below Chris Daughtry. Do you think you're sexier than Carrie?
BL: She's pretty sexy.

B: That's what we're trying to say — no offense to you or your sexiness.
BL: No, no. I definitely don't think I'm sexier than Carrie Underwood.

B: What about Chris Daughtry?
BL: Well, I have hair. Hair is pretty sexy.





Star Power Interview - Blake Lewis Part 1




Star Power Interview - Blake Lewis Part 2

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What's on your iPod?

There is a new thread at RockBandLounge where people list what the current Top 10 Songs on their iPod or other mp3 player are.

My Top 10 list really reflects what I am currently listening to. However, it's not exactly what my All Time Favorite Top 10 would look like or even what my Top 10 would look like in 2-3 weeks.....

So for now, my current Top 10 is - it won't surprise those of you who know me...:

1-Gots To Get Her - Blake Lewis
2-Powerless To Change - Greg Neufeld
3-Geek in the Pink - Jason Mraz
4-How Many Words - Blake Lewis
5-You and I Both - Jason Mraz
6-Maybe - Jim McGorman
7-Be Still - Kelly Clarkson
8-You Can't Always Get What You Want - Jim McGorman
9-Daughters - John Mayer
10-Running Away - DiMarco

What's a bit surprising to me in that list is that I usually listen to more rock music than anything else. And there's hardly any rock at all in that top 10!!! I guess tastes change with time... I did download my very first country song a few months ago.... *LOL*

Monday, December 10, 2007

Blake Lewis Album Release Party - Doxology Opening

Hey Friends and Fans...

Our buddy Blake has finally released his EXPLOSIVE new CD (A.D.D.) and has asked that we celebrate this great accomplishment by opening for him at his CD Release Party in Seattle! Come on out! It is going to be a REEEDICULOUS night!

DETAILS:

What: Blake Lewis CD Release Party for his latest CD A.D.D.
When: Dec 20th
Where: The Showbox at the Market, 1st and Pike
Time: Doors at 8PM
Cost: $15
ALL AGES! ALL AGES! ALL AGES!
More info: http://www.showboxonline.com/newwebsite/htmlsite.html

Tickets go on sale WEDNESDAY DEC 12th at 10AM

Advance tickets for both venues available at Showbox at the Market Box Office, open Monday through Friday, 11am to 6pm, $2.00 service charge per ticket, CASH ONLY. Tickets also available through Ticketmaster; for a list of all outlet locations or charge-by-phone numbers, visit www.ticketmaster.com. ALL SHOWS ARE GENERAL ADMISSION UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED. VERY LIMITED SEATING AVAILABLE FOR ALL SHOWS.

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Blake Lewis aka Bob Bobberson The Ninja Pop-Tart

BLAKE LEWIS IS A POP TART

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Blake Lewis - CW Now

Interview:




Some exclusive footage online at

http://www.cwtv.com/cw-video/cw-now/short/?play=437-2616

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Next Great American Band - Top 4

This week, the Top 4 bands sing songs from Queen, as well as an original song. Contrary to the other weeks, instead of playing the two songs one after the other, they play the Queen songs first, then each band comes back to play their original.

The eliminated band was Dot Dot Dot. Since they were eliminated after the first half of the show, they didn't get an exit interview or anything. It made for a very anticlimactic reveal.



The Clark Brothers - “These Are The Days of Our Lives” and “Homestead”



Taking Dicko's advice to heart, The Clark Brothers added two members to their band this week - a drummer and a bassist. I'm not sure if it really was necessary, but it certainly made for a fuller sound. I just simply adore that band, and think they are just amazing. I love when they explode with the instruments, it always sell their performances to me. Every. Single. Time. Great, great, great version of the Queen song.

The Clark Bros original was really nice, too. I sort of agree with Dicko about the lyrics (it could have been a bit better), but it didn't make me enjoy the song any less. It's catchy - I had it in my head for a few days in a row. Again, explosion of instruments and vocals - FREAKING AWESOME!!!!

I disagree with Dicko about Ashley needing to embrace his inner rockstar - the fact that he and his brothers are humble and down to earth is one of the things that are very attractive about that band.



Light of Doom - “We Will Rock You” and “A Matter of Time”



Their Queen song was baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad. I kinda liked the beginning of it with the big huge drums played by everyone. But then they launched into a weird speed metal version that didn't do justice to the song. They virtually stripped away the song of it's melody. Bad, bad, bad.

Their original song was not much better. Their lack of experience really showed with this song. The lyrics were uninteresting, and while they all played their instruments rather well, the song doesn't have a melody for any of those instruments to shine. That was just noise. Bad noise. On the positive side, the singer's vocals really is improving.



Sixwire - “Fat Bottomed Girls” and “Go On”



Very happy that one of the bands decided to do that song. Even happier that Sixwire did it. The harmonies are killer, once again. Rocking version with a little country flavor that really worked for the song. I enjoyed the guitar solo at the end... Awesome!

Their original song was the strongest of the night. Great hook, beautiful melodies, killer harmonies. This song could be a hit. I m with Sheila - I wanna hear that song again, I wanna hear it in its entirety!



Denver and the Mile High Orchestra - “Sleeping on the Sidewalk” and “Big White House”



Argh.... DMHO just does. Not. WORK!!! Stop saying that! I quite enjoyed the song. Denver is pushing is vocals again, and he's sounding better and better all the time.

Good original song. It's true there is no real hook to it, but I'm not sure it really needs it. It worked well I thought. Finally Denver REALLY pushes his vocals, and he really shines. He looked so much more comfortable than on any other performance they've done so far.

Avril Lavigne with Jim McGorman - MSN Control Room Live at the Roxy Concert Series

Avril offers her fans a high quality acoustic set comprising 13 songs. You can view them all online at her MSN page. Here are those where Jim McGorman accompanies her on guitar and sing for her.


Adia (Sarah McLaughlan cover)
Avril Lavigne and Jim McGorman - Adia - MSN Control Room

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Keep Holding On
Avril Lavigne & Jim McGorman - Keep Holding On- MSN Control Room

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Complicated
Avril Lavigne & Jim McGorman - Complicated - MSN Control Room

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Hot
Avril Lavigne & Jim McGorman - Hot - MSN Control Room

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Losing Grip
Avril Lavigne & Jim McGorman - Loosing Grip - MSN Control Room

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Tomorrow
avril Lavigne & Jim McGorman - Tormorrow - MSN Control Room

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Girlfriend
Avril Lavigne & Jim McGorman - Girlfriend - MSN Control Room

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Sk8er Boi
Avril Lavigne & Jim McGorman - Sk8er Boi - MSN Control Room

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Blake Lewis - AOL Sessions

A little while ago, Blake and his band recorded a live show for the AOL Sessions. 13 clips of shibby goodness, including some Q&As, a behind the scene video and 5 performances of songs from Audio Day Dream.

Forgive the annoying commercials.

Enjoy!!!


"Q&A: How did your band come together?"




"Q&A: Is 'Audio Day Dream' ('A.D.D.') reflective of the album's eclectic musical styling?"





"Q&A: Do you feel like your ‘Idol’ success can be used to turn new people on to electronic music?"





"Q&A: What were you looking for in people you worked with on ‘Audio Day Dream?’"






"Q&A: Lyrically, what do you want people to take from the album when they hear it?"





"Q&A: What are your five must-have '80s tracks on a mixtape and why?"





"Q&A: Do you know what your touring plans are yet?"





'Behind the Scenes (AOL Sessions)' Video





"Silence Is Golden (AOL Sessions)"





"Break Anotha (AOL Sessions)"





"Whatcha Got to Lose (AOL Sessions)"





"How Many Words (AOL Sessions)"





"Know My Name (AOL Sessions)"


Blake Lewis - Odds & Ends

Idol's Lewis has something to say on debut

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ent/music/cdreviews/5348414.html

Exerpt:

That's really the strength of Lewis' original work. Perhaps more than any other contestant's post-Idol debut disc, Lewis comes with a fully realized musical identity and a real sense of how things work on record. (And yes, I'm counting Chris Daughtry, who still needs to shake off some of that Nickelback sludge.) What you saw on TV is what's often effectively showcased here.

Audio Day Dream leaves the beat-boxing Idol with room to grow, but it grooves like a genuine musical statement.




Blake Lewis - "Neo of Beatboxing" Interview

http://www.ugo.com/ugo/html/article/?id=18067§ionId=2

Exerpt:

UGO: So you're gonna bring your own band along? Are these your buddies from home?

Blake: Yeah, all of 'em. We're all from Seattle. I've been playing with my drummer [Kevin Sawka] for something like 6 years. He's been my partner in crime. We've been producing drum and bass and breakbeat music together for a long time. Everyone else, Jeremy [Lightfoot] the bass player has been playing with Kevin for 15 years, they went to high school together. I've been playing with everyone for a long time, and everyone's just stoked I got them on the record as well. All the tracks we did were live, all the vocals, everything's live. As far as the stuff that we did, as far as the filler tracks, the stuff that flows the main tracks in and out.

UGO: You were the first to sing one of your original songs, "She Loves the Way," on the American Idol tour. How'd that go down?

Blake: It was the last date, I didn't ask, I just did it.

UGO: So do you keep in touch with any of the contestants or judges from AI at all?

Blake: Yeah, I keep in touch with C-Rich [Chris Richardson], he's my homie. He's working on an album, still trying to get on a record label and management. He's lucky he's friends with Danja. He's been working with Danja and Timbaland for years. A lot of people don't know about that.

UGO: Do you have any future musical plans, collaborations, any big producers lined up?

Blake: Yeah, definitely. I couldn't get a lot of the stuff I wanted to get done on this record because i got sick. A lot of hip-hop stuff. Black Thought was down to do a track. Doug E. Fresh and I have been talking for a while. I wanna do a cypher, completely live beatbox, me Doug E. Fresh, some of my favorite emcees, definitely live in the studio, like a hundred people, totally old school jam.




Exclusive Interview: Blake Lewis, of 'American Idol'

http://www.buddytv.com/articles/american-idol/exclusive-interview-blake-lewi-14472.aspx

Exerpt:

Blake Lewis was one of the biggest underdogs American Idol has ever seen. Seemingly coming out of nowhere, the kid from Bothell, Washington burst onto the scene thanks to creative arrangements of classic songs on American Idol and his prodigious beat boxing abilities. Blake eventually was the runner-up on American Idol, but that's just fine with him. Blake's debut album "ADD: Audio Day Dream" was released yesterday amid a solid amount of hype and positive reviews. Blake spoke with us recently about his experience on American Idol and his new album.

Below you will find both the written transcript and full mp3 audio of the interview.

What was your process for creating the album? Were a lot of songs brought to you? How many are completely original and how many are collaborations?

It's a very big collaborative record. All of the songs but one were written by me, and co-written. I worked with so many different producers, there's five different producers on this record, and I couldn't be more fortunate to work with these amazing, creative people that I've been inspired by and that are inspired by me. That's why they wanted to work with me, so a lot of people called out to my A&R guy to work with me. I did the same thing. I wanted to work with BT, cause I opened with him a long time ago in Seattle, and he actually called out to me because he saw a song that I had written that was up on YouTube with all my loop pedals and vocal effects and all vocal song that I do. We worked on that song, and we wrote another song together for this record that just turned out amazing. Then I might with Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, and the day we met it was like wow, I didn't know we were best friends. It was crazy, because I found amazing friends through this whole entire project, and amazing musicians and collaborators that I'll forever work with.


I know you collaborate with your fellow Idol Chris Richardson a lot. How much involvement did he have in the album?

We wrote one song together called “What'cha Got 2 Lose,” and then we co-wrote another song with Sam and Frodo out of New York called “I'm Just Human,” which will be a bonus on iTunes. With “What'cha Got 2 Lose” I got co-production on that song as well with JR Rotem. It's just great, a rollercoaster ride. “What'cha Got 2 Lose” is kind of along the lines of “Break Anotha,” but definitely funkier. It's Prince meets James Brown meets The Zapp Band, rollercoaster into Michael Jackson “Thriller” in the breakdown with me scratching over it. It was definitely the ADD track of Audio Day Dream.




Blake Lewis Exclusive!

http://www.theinsideronline.com/news/2007/12/14548/

Exerpt:

Click to view interview

"American Idol" runner-up BLAKE LEWIS' debut album, Audio Day Dream, was just released this week, and "The Insider" is exclusively with the singer as he shoots the music video for his first single, "Break Anotha."

A new interview and performances with the beat-box bad boy also debut on AOL Music's Sessions page Friday, Dec. 7th. Blake says he was inspired by the one and only MICHAEL JACKSON for his new album.

"I've got drum and bass with some metal in there, you know," he says. "I tried to make my Michael Jackson Bad record, but with all of my influences, because that's like one of my favorite records of all time."




Disc debuts: 'Audio Day Dream' by Blake Lewis

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/ent/stories/DN-cd_blakelewis_1204gl.ART.State.Edition1.369caae.html

Exerpt:

A TRUE MTV 'IDOL': As the runner-up to Jordin Sparks on the last season of American Idol, Blake Lewis showed promise as a shameless (some would say aimless) ham of all urban-music trades. From beatboxing and scat singing to plucky hit reinterpretations and alter-ego parading, his confident eclecticism endeared him to many, including the judges. The challenge after season six was to bottle up Mr. Lewis' dervish sonic wanderlust and present it as a visionary teen-pop manifesto.




Disc debuts: 'Audio Day Dream' by Blake Lewis

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/ent/stories/DN-cd_blakelewis_1204gl.ART.State.Edition1.369caae.html

Exerpt:

A TRUE MTV 'IDOL': As the runner-up to Jordin Sparks on the last season of American Idol, Blake Lewis showed promise as a shameless (some would say aimless) ham of all urban-music trades. From beatboxing and scat singing to plucky hit reinterpretations and alter-ego parading, his confident eclecticism endeared him to many, including the judges. The challenge after season six was to bottle up Mr. Lewis' dervish sonic wanderlust and present it as a visionary teen-pop manifesto.




Sidewalks Entertainement Interview

Host Cindy Rhodes interviews singer Blake Lewis, a finalist on season six of American Idol. Blake talks about his album, Audio Day Dream.






Yahoo! Interview

Video:

http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/player/popup/?rn=3906861&cl=5365953&ch=4226715&src=news




LI's Sean Gould bids 'Hello' to Blake Lewis

http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/music/ny-ffbuzz5489563dec09,0,539433.story

Exerpt:

The new album from "American Idol" runner-up Blake Lewis may be a bit uneven, but one surefire hit is "Here's My Hello," a slice of Maroon 5-ish pop that was engineered by Sean Gould, better known as the guitarist from Seaford-based Bandcamp.

Gould, who has been working with the production team of Sam Hollander and Dave Katz at Fresh Kills studio on several projects, including Metro Station and We the Kings, also lends his guitarwork to the track. The song helps bulk up Lewis' "Audio Day Dream" debut, which has a solid shot at debuting in the Top 5 next week and beating out the debut of this season's "American Idol" winner Jordin Sparks.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Blake Lewis - Regis and Kelly

Great version, albeit shorten, of Break Anotha. Lots of shots of the pink air dude (Johnny Nails). :) Nice interview too... And a little bit of How Many Words at the end. :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Blake Lewis on The Sauce

Thanks to mj from MJ's Big Blog!

Panda Conspiracy at The Jet, Millcreek WA featuring Blake Lewis

Thanks to The Panda Conspiracy for putting up that awesome, shibby clip!!!

Blake Lewis - Audio Day Dream - Album Review

Blake Lewis' debut album, Audio Day Dream (ADD) has finally been released! And it does not disappoint. Many big names appear on this album. Ryan Tedder of One Republic has co-written 7 of the songs, while Lewis co-wrote them all but one. Other collaborators to appear on the album are Steph Jones, Evan Boggart, Chris Richardson, Sam Watters, Josh Hoge, Sam Hollander, Jonathan Rotem, BT, Mike Elizondo and so many others. Lewis even gets a mention for co-producing "What' Cha Got 2 Lose?

ADD has received many great reviews so far. As of right now, the album is at #2 on the Top Album chart on iTunes USA (#27 on iTunes Canada) and #1 on the Top Pop Album on iTunes USA (#5 on iTunes Canada). The song "How Many Words" seems to be the americans favorite (according to iTunes USA), while the bonus track "Human" is currently the most popular download on iTunes Canada.

I think it is safe to say that Blake's debut album is doing really well!!!

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1-Silence is Golden (Intro)

I really like the idea of an intro, interludes and outro for an album. This one as an etheral vibe to it, that intrigues and leads into the next song really well.

Break Anotha

First single off the album, this groovy, a-little-bit-of-everything song warns us all about the dark side of those around us. Nice first introduction to show off what Blake can do. Good vocals, awesome beats that make you groove and move. Catchy chorus that one can't help but sing along to. Love this one for its rock/hip-hop/electro/ska vibes. The break down is amazing!

3-Gots to Get Her

Love the spanish influenced guitar and the horns at the beginning. Inspired by "Puttin'on the Ritz", this is another great get up and dance song. This little passage in the song says it all for me:

"Every little thing that she does is magic, All I really know is I've got to have it"

4-Know My Name (feat. Lupe Fiasco)

This song was leaked a while ago. It was an unfinished version, without Lupe's rap. Gotta say, the rap does add to the song. About Celebrity crushes, Lewis has been teased about this one since he mentioned it was about Nathalie Portman, his own celebrity crush. Vocals are amazing, with some Prince like falsettos thrown in. Fantastic.

5-How Many Words

One of Lewis favorite and most personal song, this one is the kind of song almost anyone can relate to. For those out there longing for Lewis' velvety vocals, this song's for you. One of my very favorite off this album.

"I', letting you go, You're letting me down, Been caught in your reign and I almost drowned"

6-Surrender

The lyrics are great. The beats are awesome, sexy, pulls you in. I love the layering of vocals and back vocals. This one has a real One Republic flavor.

7-Hate 2 Love Her

Lots of piano on this, it reminds me of One Republic because of it. The bridge is totally rad, with the piano building up. Blake's vocals are again fantastic. The A.D.H.D. interlude is probably my favorite of them all.

8-Without You

To me, this is the weakest track on the album and it is still a great song. Blake's crooning vocals are silky and sexy. I adore how he sings it softly throughout the song, only to build it up in the bridge with the piano. The ending with the layered vocals is really, really nice. Over all, a bit cheesy around the edges, but still a beautiful melody to sway from side to side to.

9-Here's My Hello

The chorus of this one is KILLER. Wow. There's a bit of a robotic/electronic feel at the very beginning and then in the bridge. Love it. The lower vocals in the bridge are so sexy.........

"Here's my Hello, Don't say goodbye, Do you want me, Just stay here with me tonight"

Oh and the Dirty Funk interlude? LOVE!!!!!!!!!!

10-What'Cha Got 2 Lose?

One of two track co-written with Chris Richardson. The 30 second snippet on iTunes does NOT make this song justice. Absolutely adore the robotic vocals throughout. The bridge reminds me a bit of Michael Jackson. Very funky and fun. This song benefits from several listen.

11-She's Making Me lose It

Blake is channeling his inner Prince on this fun song. Oh does he ever! Once again the chorus is very catchy and the beats are funky and addictive. The instrumental bridge, with the vocal build-up right after are simply brilliant.

"I can't help myself, When she... She causes me to lose control"

12-Bshorty grabs Mic!

Beatboxing lovers, this one's for you!!!! Recorded live, this one is pure Bshorty magic.

13-End of the World

Another one of my very favorite. Big on vocals, this song shows Blake's range really nicely. The lyrics are beautiful and heartfelt, yet simple. The ethereal vibe, almost Imogen Heap-ish, of this song gives it a bit of a sad note, almost melancholic.

"I'm too weak to be strong, I can't be the only one, Holding on 'til the day you find me, Meet me at the end of the world, I'm waiting, Meet me at the end of the world, Please save me, This could be the place where we start, The rest of our lives"

14-1000 Miles

The guitar throughout is reminiscent of ... I can't pinpoint it, but to me, the guitar is very distinctive. Classic 80's pop feel to this great song, including the robotic bridge. Love, love, love the lyrics.

"But did my words find you then?"

15-I Got U

Very nice ballad. Blake's vocals are so good on this, wow. I love the electro feel of this one. Very catchy lyrics leading up to the chorus. Love the synth.

"But it don't matter, As long as I got U"

16-I Choose Noise (Outro)

Absolutely adore Blake's ethereal vocals on this. The Kaoss pad additions are great!

17-Human (iTunes Bonus Track)

This is currently my very favorite. Co-written with Chris Richardson, the robotic intro grabs you right away. The vocals are stellar on this, letting Blake's voice shine bright. The lyrics are amazing, the bridge is pure genius - falsettos, robotic vocals, beatboxing - brilliant. The chorus is so damn catchy, I knew it all after only two listen (and that's a big accomplishment in my mind). The fact that this song didn't make the album just blows my mind and makes me wonder how many other gems currently sit in Blake Lewis' music journal.

"I'm just Human, Want to do things to ya, Sugar tell me where and when to start, I'm just human, And I don't want to loose it, Got to find a way into your heart, Before it's too late"



Meet Blake Lewis' Band!!!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

From left to right: Johnny Nails, TJ Berry (from The Panda Conspiracy), Kent Halvorsen, Kevin Sawka, Blake Lewis, Chris Poage (from The Panda Conspiracy), Jeremy Lightfoot.

Blake Lewis Interviews - ADD Reviews

American Idol’s Beatboxer Blake Lewis Takes a Punch at Britney

http://www.usmagazine.com/blake_lewis_talks_to_us_about_new_album

He beatboxed his way to second place on last season’s American Idol, and now Seattle native Blake Lewis is hitting the mainstream music scene with his debut disc, Audio Day Dream, in stores today.

Lewis gave Usmagazine.com a call to chat about his new record, his producer-pal (and Britney Spears ex) J.R. Rotem and what he really thinks of Spears' new album.

Usmagazine.com: You worked with Clive Davis on your debut. In the past, people like Kelly Clarkson have found it difficult to find a creative happy medium when working with him. How was your working relationship?
Blake Lewis: Clive has an executive producer credit, but he didn’t actually produce a lot of stuff. He gave me a lot of freedom and I’m very thankful for it. I’ve had a concept for this album for four years - and he loved all my ideas. I’m inspired by 80’s music and a lot of my melodies come from it.

Us: Jordin Sparks just released her first album, but sales were poor. Do sales worry you?
BL: I honestly never think about that stuff. I did the same thing with American Idol - I never watched it before and I didn’t watch myself on it. I just make music. I create to create.

Us: Given the music landscape right now, how are you marketing your album?
BL: I’m doing the same thing I’ve always done. I’m always an advocate for networking and MySpace – I spend about an hour a night answering fans. And I’m going to release "She Loves the Way" as a video and audio [track] on iTunes, separate from the record.

Us: The song "Know My Name" is a homage to Natalie Portman. What is it about her that you love?
BL: Natalie’s rad. She’s smart, sexy, and she pokes fun at herself. She seems like she cares about humanity, which is good.

Us: What details can you share about the tattoo you're getting from Kim Saigh as part of your appearance on the TLC series L.A. Ink?
BL: Kim just came up with an amazing, beautiful tattoo. They contacted me, which was great. My design is Salvadore Dali’s "Persistence of Memory" meets Alice in Wonderland with a lot of symbolism. Mainly, music is timeless.

Us: J.R. Rotem assisted in the production of your record. Did he offer any good Britney gossip during your recording sessions?
BL: Oh, totally! [J.R. and Britney are] both loco! But the song I did with him, "What’cha Got 2 Lose?" was one of my favorites on the album for sure.

Us: Have you purchased the new Britney album?
BL: Hell no! I’ve heard a couple good songs, but it’s always ‘not that bad’ when you have, like, $5 million to make an album. [Laughs]



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Blake Lewis' 'Audio Day Dream' is a wealth of styles

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/pop/341872_blake03.html

"American Idol" Blake Lewis and American composer Irving Berlin (who wrote "White Christmas," "There's No Business Like Show Business" and "God Bless America") usually aren't mentioned in the same sentence.

But Lewis' highly anticipated debut album, "Audio Day Dream," which Arista Records releases Tuesday on its 19 Recordings label, features the high-flying, guitar- and horn-driven "Gots To Get Her," a song inspired by the Irving Berlin classic "Puttin' on the Ritz."

Lewis, the 26-year-old Redmond native who was a finalist on the sixth season of "American Idol," got permission from Berlin's publishing company to write his own lyrics and add verses. Lewis, the talented beatboxer also known as Bshorty, describes the song as "a roller coaster ride through some Latin-style, old-school jazz."

"I'm the first person in history to change the lyrics to 'Puttin' on the Ritz' and make it my own song," Lewis said in a recent interview from Hollywood, where he was doing interviews and preparing for the release of "Audio Day Dream."

The album's debut single, "Break Anotha," was recorded at Seattle's London Bridge Studio. He's in good company: Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam also have recorded albums there. Other songs were recorded in New York and Los Angeles. In a novel marketing twist, a stream of "Break Anotha" was released directly to fans by phone via the new social networking service SayNow on the same day it was released to radio.

Lewis worked with nearly a dozen producers and co-writers, among them David Hodges, Mike Elizondo, S*A*M* and Sluggo, Sean Hurley, BT, J.R. Rotem, Sam Watters and OneRepublic's Ryan "Alias" Tedder. Guest artists include Lupe Fiasco (featured on "Know My Name") and fellow "Idol" finalist Chris Richardson. Presiding over the recording project was industry mogul Clive Davis, chairman and chief executive officer of BMG Label Group.

"Audio Day Dream" (ADD) offers a whirlwind of styles: hip-hop, rock, pop, funk, soul and R&B, with an abundance of special effects. Lewis compares the amalgam of retro styles to a 1980s mix tape. He came up with the album's dramatic cover design of his face and profile, as well as a mini-poster inside that shows him surfing through a surreal, mountainous landscape.

Attention deficit disorder is an intentional motif in the album. "People thought I had ADD growing up," Lewis remembers.

He grew up in Bothell and Kenmore. Long before he became a star on "American Idol," he was playing at such Fremont clubs as ToST and Nectar Lounge. The record label isn't paying for a Seattle release party, so Lewis will try to put together his own show in the next week or two at one of his favorite clubs.

In the meantime, Lewis will join the lineup for the KISS 106.1 FM Jingle Bell Bash Tuesday at the Tacoma Dome (he also co-hosts a pre-concert show with Marcus D airing at 2 p.m.). Jingle Bell Bash features the Jonas Brothers, Timbaland (with special guests Keri Hilson, OneRepublic and Sebastian), Sean Kingston, Colbie Caillat and Ehpikh.

Over the phone, the personable, well-mannered beatboxer who calls Seattle home was passionate about his music and career -- and about the local music scene that supported him before "American Idol."

P-I: "Audio Day Dream" seems to be loaded with potential hits, from ballads to hip-hop songs. Are your expectations high?

Lewis: "I got to make the album I've always wanted. That's huge. I set high goals for myself. I don't tell anyone what they are. I'll tell them once I've reached them. I've done that my whole entire life. I put myself out in the universe, I put myself out there in a positive way."

After "Break Anotha," how will you decide which songs to release as singles?

"I definitely want singles that best represent me. I'm not going to say which one, but there's a song that I didn't necessarily want on the record. But I know the label people love it, and you have to deal with the corporate stuff at a major label."

Fellow "American Idol" Kelly Clarkson ran into trouble last summer when she refused label head Davis' offer of $10 million to delete five tracks and replace them with songs he would handpick. Did Davis ask for any changes on your album?

"On one song, he said, 'You should change this bridge because it doesn't sound like you.' He was right on a lot of things. And we compromised on a couple of things, but that's about it. He really didn't touch the record. He was just so into it. Which is huge because my whole dream was to be signed by Clive Davis, so I wasn't going to mess that up."

You recorded at studios in Seattle, New York and L.A. How many altogether?

"Oh, gosh, I couldn't tell you. For this album alone, I probably recorded in 20 different studios."

Why so many?

"I didn't want to do this album with just one producer. I'm so influenced by different people. And I wanted to get the best people. I worked with BT (a revered "trance" composer who has worked with the likes of Britney Spears, Tori Amos and David Bowie) on two tracks. He's one of my main inspirations ever. And the fact he came to me, to work with me, without knowing that I was even on 'American Idol' is amazing. He knew me as Bshorty. He got my number from a mutual friend."

"Gots To Get Her," inspired by the Irving Berlin song, gives new life to a tune that fans in their teens and 20s may not be familiar with.

"It's a fun track. I was very honored that the Berlin family let me do it. People have recorded the song so many times, but no one has changed the words. We don't get the publishing rights, but we got to have this piece of music on this record, which was huge to us. We put our egos aside."

Have you noticed increased interest in beatboxing since "American Idol"?

"I think so, with my fans at least. I see 5-year-olds with their moms and dads coming up to show me what they can do. It's awesome because they know what it is now. I think in the next 10 years you're going to see an increase in younger people who are killer beatboxers. I just hope they take the time to research it and check out these amazing people who inspired me. There are these amazing guys and girls in Europe, where it's such a respected art form. There are like 18-year-olds who could school me in beatboxing."

What's your perspective on "American Idol" now that it's behind you?

" 'American Idol' was great. I was scared in the beginning because I had never seen it before, and I was afraid it would take my artistic integrity out of the mix. But it did the opposite. I was forced to do other people's music, but I didn't mind because I just made it my own, arranged it myself and I had a lot of fun with it. I didn't take it seriously because I'm not a competitive person. I'm down to create. It launched my career out into the universe. What I want to do now is create music that I'm passionate about."

CD REVIEW

BLAKE LEWIS -- AUDIO DAY DREAM (19 Recordings/ Arista Records)

Bshorty's got a bombshell.

In one of the most anticipated album debuts of the season, the 26-year-old Bothell beatboxer who became a finalist on the sixth season of "American Idol" has pulled together a who's who of co-writers and producers. Executive producer was BMG label chief Clive Davis, who apparently didn't mess with the explosive blend of styles and special effects.

Aside from the debut single, the electro-funk tune "Break Anotha" (recorded at Seattle's London Bridge Studio), the album features several romantic power ballads sure to please the Coldplay crowd, as well as a bundle of frenzied tunes blending R&B, hip-hop, funk, soul, pop and rock. Fiasco, Lewis' own idol, is featured on the engaging hip-hop song "Know My Name." "Talk box" provides vocal effects (a la Roger Troutman of Zapp Band fame) on a powerful collaboration with Richardson, "What'cha Got 2 Lose?" And "Gots To Get Her" is a fascinating take on Irving Berlin's "Puttin' on the Ritz," with original lyrics and additional verses that add relevance for young listeners.

"Audio Day Dream" suffers from excessive use of special effects and electronic gimmicks, but the promising album is likely to produce several hits, taking Bshorty's career to new heights.




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Blake Lewis' debut a hip transplant

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/music/2007/12/04/2007-12-04_blake_lewis_debut_a_hip_transplant.html

Is it possible? Has "American Idol" finally spawned a singer whose debut CD you could almost call hip?

Blake Lewis, this year's first runner-up (also known as "that guy who does the annoying human beat-box trick"), has actually come up with an album, "Audio Day Dream," that works perfectly as pop, but which also has a sense of - gasp! - edge.

To pull this off, Lewis found an ideal ally. Much of the CD is produced and co-written by Ryan (Alias) Tedder, he of the hot band Onerepublic. In the last few months, Tedder's group has exploded with a single ("Apologize") that hit No. 1 on Billboard's Pop 100 Song Chart. The band's debut CD, "Dreaming Out Loud," came out last week, with the cachet of a release on Timbaland's imprint.

Together, Tedder and Lewis (with help from others) came up with a strikingly tight, clever and complex sound for this CD. It's dense with cunning little sound effects: synthetic whooshes, bleats and blips, buttressing Lewis' beat-box hiccups and burps. Tedder whipped them all into a rich kaleidoscope of sound, cramming the songs with hooks in every cranny.

Don't worry. There's plenty of melody to balance it out. Genre-wise, the guys drew on funk, synth-pop and hip-hop, with the most blatant role models being Maroon 5. Some songs - the single "Break Anotha" or "Hate 2 Love Her," specifically - could as easily be Maroon, only they're better than anything that woeful band ever released, and they're unblemished by the pinched whine of Maroon's Adam Levine.

There's also far more '80s synth-pop in this album's mix, with many of the electronic instruments seeming to date directly from the period. "Surrender" has the dark synths of old Depeche Mode, but with a modern teen-pop sheen.

"How Many Words" could have been an Erasure ballad, a reference enhanced by Lewis' vocal resemblance to that group's Andy Bell.

In this context, Lewis' hip-hop effects no longer sound like a gimmick, as they did on "Idol." They're well integrated into the jumpy, snapping mix. Lewis even pulls off a credible impersonation of Prince's falsetto in "She's Making Me Lose It."

The singer has made sure to retain the clean-scrubbed character demanded by "Idol." You could still take this voice home to mother.

At the same time, Lewis has hit on the most distinctive sound ever to come from an "Idol" star. As a result, not only has he bested the new CD by the singer who beat him out this year (Jordin Sparks), he also came up with the best album by any "Idol" alum yet.



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BLAKE LEWIS
“Audio Day Dream”
(Arista/19 Recordings)

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/03/arts/music/03choi.html?_r=2&pagewanted=1&ref=music&oref=slogin

The acronym came first. That’s a helpful bit of background when it comes to “Audio Day Dream,” the amiably scattershot debut by Blake Lewis, this year’s runner-up on “American Idol.” Apparently A.D.D. — attention deficit disorder, that is — provides a useful model for an artist as effervescent as Mr. Lewis. So if the album feels disjointed, even jumbled, that’s only natural; check the diagnosis.

In the first few tracks Mr. Lewis bops along from flagship pop to lightweight hip-hop to a retro brand of new wave, manipulating his limber voice as needed. Results range from the appealing (“Break Anotha,” a busy lead single) to the appalling (“Gots to Get Her”), but on balance this code of eclecticism serves him well. It’s as if the process that brought him to prominence — covering the Bee Gees one week, Bon Jovi the next — had stayed with him long after results were in.

Or maybe it’s that the artist formerly known as the beat-boxing upstart BShorty (in his hometown, Seattle, anyway), simply thrives on the stimulus. Even as he enlists an impressive array of producers — including Ryan Alias Tedder, Mike Elizondo, J. R. Rotem, Sam Watters and BT — Mr. Lewis advances a loose but unified style. As unabashedly enamored of 1980s synth-pop as 1990s skate punk, he isn’t afraid to sigh or croon. And judging by his songwriting credits on all but one of the album’s tracks, he has a capable ear for melody, or at least for hooks that don’t overreach.

The good news, then, is that Mr. Lewis has delivered a post-“Idol” statement likely to advance his personality, with all its jittery contradictions. There’s a guest rapper (Lupe Fiasco), there are some beat-boxing displays (mercifully not many), there are power ballads and dance jams, breakup songs and come-ons. A little something for everyone, in other words, though it probably won’t hold anyone’s focus all the way through.



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Review: Blake Lewis' 'Audio Day Dream'

http://www.newsday.com/news/columnists/ny-ettop5486203dec04,0,7994304.column

Blake Lewis' debut is like the hair on his well-coiffed head - shiny, stylish and meticulously assembled.

"Audio Day Dream" (RCA), despite its name, is painstakingly planned, as thoroughly thought out as a skyscraper and, generally, just as sturdy. Its foundation is the blue-eyed soul that propelled Lewis to the runner-up position on the last "American Idol" - equal parts Maroon 5 pop and Robin Thickesque R&B, with some of Justin Timberlake's more boy-bandish moments thrown in.

At his best, like with the infectious "My Hello," Lewis is pure pop star, especially when his voice drops to his lower register. He also does well with the first single "Break Anotha" and the playful "Know My Name," which features Lupe Fiasco.

Unfortunately, those songs only point out how there's not enough playfulness on the rest of "Audio Day Dream." Lewis' free-form beatboxing appears on only a handful of songs and the skit featuring his alter ego B Shorty falls flat, as do a bunch of the more generic love songs, mainly co-written with One Republic's Ryan Tedder.

He sounds too tightly wound, like he's more driven by a fear of failure than a quest for musical greatness. It's an understandable problem considering the pressure of delivering the album on time, but a little more daring and a lot more dreaming could have made "Audio Day Dream" so much better.

AUDIO DAY DREAM. Blake Lewis gets a bit lost in the big pop machine. In stores Tuesday. Grade: B-.




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Blake Lewis' debut album disappoints

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/musicnightlife/2004049198_blakelewis03.html

Blake Lewis, 26-year-old "American Idol" runner-up and Bothell native, made his name by being unique.

"Remixing" songs midperformance on live TV, Lewis wove a cappella hip-hop sound effects (it's called beatboxing, grandpa/ma) into "Idol"-sanctioned jukebox pop.

An original vocal weapon, Lewis' beat-box also seemed the tip of a deep musical iceberg, a wealth of experience and expertise only revealed in glimpses.

Unfortunately, on his debut recording, "Audio Day Dream" ("ADD"), we're still not getting the rest of the iceberg. The album, which comes out Tuesday, is 16 tracks (55 minutes) of energetic, bubblegum pop.

Lewis' love of hip-hop, drum and bass and trance music appears on "ADD" like faint syrup in a giant Italian soda.

Take lead single "Break Anotha" for example. Two-thirds of the way in, the drummer (Seattle club mainstay Kevin Sawka) kicks into a skittish, booming beat, at once a half- and double-time breakdown. Lewis rides the momentum with stretched-out singing like a character in a "Matrix" fight scene.

But then it's back to the song, which is so slick with cliché dramatics it might have been directed by Michael Bay ("Pearl Harbor" and "Transformers").

The track — like most on "ADD" — is produced by Ryan Tedder, singer for recent MTV sensation OneRepublic. Everything Tedder touches on "ADD" turns to upbeat, no-brow disco, squarely in the center of a Venn diagram that includes Maroon 5, Justin Timberlake and latter-day Cher.

When Tedder falls back, things don't get radically different. Mike Elizondo produces "1000 Miles," a song that combines "Every Breath You Take" with "Time After Time," but the super-sincere ballad is impossible to take seriously. Lewis' voice isn't terribly strong, and when things veer into lyrical cheesiness (which they often do on "ADD"), the song collapses under its own weight.

"ADD's" most serious misstep is the Tedder-produced "Gots To Get Her," a synthetic carnival stomp to the tune of "Puttin' On The Ritz." As would-be camp, it's barely listenable, but "Gots To Get Her" comes across with baffling earnestness.

A notable guest performance comes from Kanye West protégé Lupe Fiasco on "Know My Name." Fiasco's phoned-in rap effortlessly rips Tedder's tame hip-hop beat to shreds, but he's gone as quickly as he came.

Elsewhere, former 'NSYNC member Chris Kirkpatrick (the one with braids) shows up as a background singer, and his presence alone speaks volumes about where Lewis stands artistically.

On "American Idol," Blake Lewis was different from everybody else. He sucker-punched cookie-cutters with a hybrid style. And no question his fondness for intriguing rhythm breakdowns and beatboxing makes for captivating live performances. But "Audio Day Dream" doesn't differentiate him from the herd of MTV mall-pop.




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‘American Idol’ Star Blake Lewis Releases First Album

http://www.enews20.com/news_American_Idol_Star_Blake_Lewis_Releases_First_Album_04154.html

We might as well say that Blake Lewis conquered the audience in the sixth season of the popular show “American Idol” by other means than his singing talent. Beatboxing and originality were his strengths and his voice came on second or third place when it came to recognizing his skills.

The issue now is that his first album, “Audio Day Dream” focuses most on his voice. It would be unfair to say that it is lacking originality, as the blend of styles is certainly a one of a kind combination, mixing hip-hop, rock, pop and soul with electronic influences.

The debut single of the album that is to be released on Tuesday, “Break Anotha” had a special launch, as it had a special location for recording. The premiere song was released directly to fans by phone, through the social networking service SayNow. The recording venue, that sheltered the birth of albums of Alice in Chains and Pearl Jam was Seattle's London Bridge Studio.

Another outstanding song on “Audio Day Dream” is “Gots To Get Her,” that benefited from direct inspiration from the Irving Berlin classic “Puttin' on the Ritz”. The 26-year old American Idol star, that finished the second in the show after Jordin Sparks, was permitted by Berlin’s publishing company to alter the song, writing new lyrics. “I'm the first person in history to change the lyrics to 'Puttin' on the Ritz' and make it my own song,” Lewis highlighted.

“ADD” also gathers outstanding guests, like Lupe Fiasco or Lewis’ American Idol colleague Chris Richardson, and its tracks are under the signature of famous producers like David Hodges, OneRepublic's Ryan "Alias" Tedder, S*A*M* and Sluggo, BT or J.R. Rotem. How will the public receive the work of the star that was recently named the most popular artist on AOL, we’ll see soon.



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Music Review: Blake Lewis Does His Thing On Debut Album

http://www.starpulse.com/news/index.php/2007/12/03/music_review_blake_lewis_does_his_thing_

Blake Lewis, ''Audio Day Dream'' (Arista Records) Much of bubbly Blake Lewis' screen time on ''American Idol'' was spent struggling to fit the roundedness of his motley mix-tape aesthetic into square songs from mature artists.

With the harsh reality of that reality TV competition behind him, this ''Idol'' second place finisher is now liberated to enchant with his own ''Audio Day Dream.'' And he does. Mostly.

The radio-friendly fantasy begins with some hip-hop stained songs that, at least musically, are as curiously pleasing as the blond boy wonder's streaky dye job. The album's lyrics, which seem like they're all directed at one woman (or several women, perhaps), are primitive yet passable for inoffensive pop.

Thanks to super-producers like Jonathan ''J.R.'' Rotem and Ryan ''Alias'' Tedder, everything on ''Audio Day Dream'' is completely original. That's right. You won't find Lewis' bizarre rendition of The Supremes' ''You Keep Me Hangin' On'' here, although he does successfully shoehorn baseline inspiration from Irving Berlin's ''Puttin' on the Ritz'' into the mega-charged ''Gots to Get Her.''

Lewis makes the best use of his skills - signature scatting on the break-up letter ''How Many Words,'' infectious falsetto on the synthy ''Surrender'' and a penchant for oscillating arrangements on ''What'cha Got 2 Lose,'' co-written by Rotem and Lewis' ''Idol'' B.F.F. Chris Richardson.

Surprisingly, the beatboxing that made Lewis stand out from the ''Idol'' crowd is simply splashed throughout the 14 songs and is only predominantly featured on one track, the unremarkable ''Bshorty Grabs Mic!'' Such a lack of spit might leave some Bshorty fans craving ma-ma-ma-ma-more.

Three snoozy ballads (''1000 Miles,'' ''End of the World'' and ''I Got U'') plague the second half of ''Audio Day Dream,'' a wake-up call that the vocally limited Lewis is no vocally gifted Justin Timberlake. Maybe the Blakester should've pulled a Britney, Madonna or Gwen and just conjured a full-fledged dance record instead? Weak down tempo songs aside, ''Audio Day Dream'' is the most exhilarating effort from an ''Idol'' runner-up yet.



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Sounds from a 'music legend'

http://www.philly.com/dailynews/features/20071204_Sounds_from_a_music_legend.html

BLAKE IN THE POCKET: Here's a theory. If Blake Lewis could have concocted a beat-box rhythmed version of the cornball ballad "This Is My Now" that was his final test on "American Idol," his constituency would have never left him. And Lewis would have wound up the winner last season, instead of Jordin Sparks. You better believe the guy's not making the same mistake on his solo debut "Audio Daydream" (Arista, B). Snappy hip-hop beats and sampling thrills flavor every track - even on big ballads like "Without You" that could have done without. High points: the "Puttin'-On-the- Ritz"-inspired "Gots To Get Her," Billy Joel-ish vamp "Hate 2 Love Her" and his stuff struttin' "B Shorty Grabs Mic!"



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Album Stream: Blake Lewis, Audio Day Dream

http://buzzsugar.com/856589

Ever since I was pleasantly surprised by the first two tracks off American Idol runner-up Blake Lewis' debut album, I've been curious to check out the full album to see if it lives up to the insane energy of "Break Anotha." The album, Audio Day Dream, hits stores today, but if you can't wait to buy it — or just want to take a listen before committing to a purchase — the full album is streaming right now on AOL.

So far, the album is definitely meeting — if not exceeding — my expectations, despite its atrocious cover art (seriously, Blake, what were you thinking?). Like the two tracks that leaked early, especially "Know My Name," the album is a bit of a mess, with tons of loops and beats and tempos and musical styles packed into each track. But being boring would have been a much greater sin; the album shows the eclectic side of Blake that managed to peek out around the edges of his Idol performances. The verses of "Gots to Get Her" remind me of a hip-hoppy "Puttin' on the Ritz," and "Surrender" owes a lot to '80s power ballads — and that's just the start of the myriad influences here. Some of it's a little cheesy for my taste, but I can also hear a ton of songs that could (and probably should) be big hits.

One of my typical problems with Idol first albums is that they're too safe. This is anything but, and that makes me excited for what Blake could do long-term. Check out the album, then let me know: Are you on board with Lewis' Day Dream?