The Playlist: Amer­i­can Idol across the years

Cecil Whig - - ACCENT - By KRIS KIELICH kkielich@ches­

Amer­i­can Idol just re­turned for its 16th sea­son this past Sun­day, and though it may be dis­missed as ir­rel­e­vant or shal­low from time to time, there’s no doubt the show has pro­duced a slew of great ra­dio pop and rock artists, who in turn have gone on to write and sing songs that con­tinue to echo in peo­ple’s mem­ory for years af­ter their time in the spot­light. With the new sea­son be­gin­ning, I took stock of my own mu­sic col­lec­tion and sure enough, I am no ex­cep­tion to lov­ing some of the tunes of var­i­ous Idol alumni, so in the spirit of the show, here are my five fa­vorites.

1. “Feels Like Tonight” — Daugh­try

Chris Daugh­try’s run on “Idol” came dur­ing the rise and ex­plo­sion of post-grunge acts like Nick­el­back and 3 Doors Down, so it comes as no sur­prise that his rock sound re­flected that sound. But what Daugh­try did af­ter his elim­i­na­tion from the show was to sur­pass a lot of his con­tem­po­raries with this song. Though not even writ­ten by Daugh­try (the song was writ­ten by Dr. Luke and Max Martin), it’s Daugh­try’s pas­sion and ab­so­lute mon­ster de­liv­ery on ev­ery word that still gives me chills when I lis­ten to this song.

2. “My Life Would Suck With­out You” — Kelly Clark­son

The orig­i­nal win­ner of “Amer­i­can Idol,” Kelly Clark­son is syn­ony­mous with the show and the ups and downs that win­ners can have long af­ter their run. Clark­son has al­ways been one of the win­ners who has re­mained in the lime­light and has con­tin­ued to pro­duce many hits, in­clud­ing this fast paced and manic pop-rock track. It’s fu­ri­ous and hooky, and cap­tures the vibe of an Avril Lav­i­gne song with Clark­son’s pow­er­house voice. It may not be her most iconic hit, but it’s still one I con­sider to be among her best.

3. “Bat­tle­field” — Jordin Sparks

The youngest win­ner in the show’s his­tory, Jordin Sparks crafted a mon­ster hit in “Bat­tle­field.” An­other strong and pow­er­ful voice like Clark­son, Sparks de­liv­ers a soul­ful, bom­bas­tic song that hit the top 10 hard back in 2009. Since then, Sparks has been on TV and on Broad­way, but it was this track about the tribu­la­tions of love that in­tro­duced her to the masses.

4. “The Time of My Life” — David Cook

This song was writ­ten by a fan of “Amer­i­can Idol,” Regie Hamm, for the Amer­i­can Idol song­writ­ing com­pe­ti­tion. Af­ter be­ing cho­sen and sung by sea­son seven win­ner David Cook, there’s no ques­tion as to why it won. It’s a pow­er­ful an­them of mo­ti­va­tion and striv­ing, and Cook’s slightly gruff, yet smooth voice was the per­fect one to de­liver it. Cook has since had a great ca­reer as an artist and will soon be ap­pear­ing on Broad­way, and his jour­ney be­gan with this song. Pretty fit­ting as the song that launched him into the world is one about seiz­ing destiny.

5. “Be­fore He Cheats” — Car­rie Un­der­wood

Per­haps the most fa­mous and il­lus­tri­ous of all “Idol” win­ners, Car­rie Un­der­wood has had a mon­ster ca­reer since her time on the show, be­com­ing a pil­lar in the mod­ern coun­try mu­sic com­mu­nity. This song has be­come a coun­try mu­sic sta­ple, and one of the most bit­ing songs about cheat­ing ever, as well as one of the best about de­stroy­ing a car. It’s slinky and sly, and Un­der­wood uses all of her vo­cal tal­ent to re­ally belt it out. The world was just start­ing to see her tal­ent, but this song would only mark the be­gin­ning of a celebrity ca­reer that has spanned over a decade.

The Playlist is a weekly look at songs cen­tered around a cer­tain theme with the goal of pro­vid­ing read­ers with an op­por­tu­nity to dis­cover their new fa­vorite songs.


Car­rie Un­der­wood is one of the most iconic and suc­cess­ful win­ners to come out of ‘Amer­i­can Idol’, whose new sea­son started this past week­end.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.