The “American Idol” Songwriting Competition: Enough Saccharine To Wipe Out The World’s Entire Rat Population

noah | April 14, 2008 11:00 am
You’d think that the overwhelming awfulness that resulted from last year’s American Idol songwriting competition–which was won by “This Is My Now,” a.k.a. “the song that killed any hopes Blake Lewis might have had of taking the 2007 Idol title away from Jordin ‘Only Sixteen’ Sparks”–would have resulted in said contest going away quietly this year. But it seems like the Idol producers are still hell-bent on trying any trick in the book to get people interested in their show once again, what with ratings being down and all. So how are the songs? has preview streams of all 20 semifinalists!

And I managed to get through a whopping six before the mewling optimism and by-the-book melodies caused me to throw up my hands “ah, fuck it.” The better songs–and please note that we’re grading on a steep curve here–worked from the “Hinder with a Hallmark-employed lyricist” template, with “Overcome” mixing in really fake handclaps and “No Turning Back” sounding like something I heard on the radio many years ago, perhaps with Weiland singing. (No, really.) There’s also “Here I Am,” which sounds like it was designed to be sung by David Archuleta (the vocalist on the demo has the same weirdly breathy quality that the lip-licking front-runner does) and songs that sound like they were written for Celine Dion (“You Can Do Anything”) and Martina McBride (“Stronger”). There is not a single inventive turn of phrase in any of the lyrics, which has to be some sort of feat–although it’s also in keeping with American Idol‘s preferred method of interpreting songs with a sledgehammer.

American Idol Songwriter 2008 — Review []

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