February 28, 2007

MUSIC: American Idol (women's semifinals, week 2)

Week 2 for the women, and if it wasn't up to the remarkable standard they set last week, there were still some good moments, and they're still a cut above the men in quality.

The rundown:

Gina, "Alone" -- it's a common problem for Idol women: They can belt the high notes, but they can't reach the low notes. In the first few bars, there are notes that are completely out of Gina's range. The song feels like it should be the right style for her, but she's pushing so hard that she looks as if she's in pain by the end.

Alaina, "Not Ready to Make Nice" -- her enunciation is ghastly, and she's running out of breath in the middle of phrases, in part because she's shouting more than singing. And I wouldn't have picked this song, which is so strongly and specifically associated with the political troubles of the Dixie Chicks that it sounds odd coming out of anyone else's mouth.

LaKisha, "Midnight Train to Georgia" -- fabulous voice, which isn't surprising, but something's missing that I can't put my finger on, and I'm oddly bored by it. It feels timid, tepid somehow, and there's not nearly as much personality behind it as she showed last week.

Melinda, "My Funny Valentine" -- stunning. A distinctive, personal interpretation, and I would be picking at the tiniest of nits to complain about a thing.

Antonella, "Because You Loved Me" -- well, it's better than last week, and I actually rather liked her falsetto. But she's still got the most unattractive voice in the competition, whiny and nasal. (And the dress is hideous.)

Jordin, "Reflections" -- like Gina, she starts in a register lower than she can really sing. But once she gets up into the meat of her voice, it's quite pretty, if not particularly memorable.

Stephanie, "Dangerously in Love" -- I don't know the song, and my first reaction was that she was treating the song with such rhythmic freedom that the band might as well have been in another county; I am informed by my roomie, though, that this is entirely in keeping with Beyonce's original, so it would seem churlish to take points off for that. Fine voice, but a bit lacking in charisma.

Leslie, "Feeling Good" -- she suffers from comparison to AJ's much better performance of the song last night, and her tempo is just a bit slower than she can get away with. The scat section went on longer than it needed to, but it wasn't painfully embarassing, and I do love the tone of her voice.

Haley, "Queen of the Night" -- there's only one thing to say when someone botches a Whitney song this badly: Oh, HELL to the no! The song is all wrong for Haley, who comes off as a hard-working high-school actress failing miserably in her attempt to play the Rocker Chick.

Sabrina, "All the Man That I Need" -- yet again, we hear a fine and powerful belt, but not much beyond that. It'll keep herin the game for a few weeks, but it won't win her the competition.

For the night: Melinda (by a mile), Stephanie, LaKisha, Sabrina, Jordin, Leslie, Gina, Haley, Alain, Antonella. Overall: Melinda, LaKisha (the two front-runners to win the whole thing, I think), Stephanie, Sabrina, Jordan (all deserving spots in the final 12), Leslie, Gina, Haley (fighting it out for that sixth spot), Alaina, Antonella (the two who need to go home this week).

1 comment:

StinkyLulu said...

I think I'm officially OFF the LaKisha train this week. It's not that I don't like her, but she's just so...so...lumpy. Beyond her voice, there's not a lot that's smooth about her and it's making me increasingly uncomfortable to watch her.

Melinda, on the other, hand is just making me fall in love. I don't know that she's right for this competition but she's just delightful.