Monday, November 15, 2010

Lee DeWyze CD Review: What Do I Say?

There were many times during this last season of “American Idol” that I was left not knowing what to say.

And now that same feeling has extended to the first CD release from a Season 9 Idol—winner Lee DeWyze’s “Live it Up.”

The reason I’m struggling with what to say is that Lee’s CD took me completely by surprise. Singer-songwriter was never a vibe I got from him. But that’s exactly the kind of CD he’s put out, co-writing 10 of the 11 tracks, including the first single, “Sweet Serendipity.”

It’s obvious why RCA released “Sweet” first since it’s the best track on the album. But if you’re looking for an album full of songs just like it, you’ll be disappointed. “Sweet” is really the only truly up tempo song on the CD. The rest are slow to medium tempo tracks, many of which sound like they’re straight from the John Mayer catalog.

So the question is, is that good or bad? And that’s where I’m stumped. I was just so surprised by the overall tone of the album, I’m honestly not sure…

Lee sounds great with his very recordable voice with “Sweet,” “Beautiful Like You” and “It’s Gotta Be Love” as standouts. However, “Live It Up,” which sounds like it should be a peppy kickoff to the album, instead sets the whole mellow mood of the CD (I would’ve started the CD with “Sweet” to pull people in.). “Dear Isabelle” sounds like it came off the latest Plain White T’s album. “Stay Here” picks up the tempo a little, but the chorus comes off a little silly. “Me and My Jealousy” has a good chorus, but it doesn’t quite connect with the verses. And I swear I’ve heard “Weightless” somewhere before (even though I haven’t).

But honestly, even with all that being said, the CD is not bad. I could see myself listening to it while writing or studying or some other task needing some mellow music behind it.

But I just can’t see myself blasting it in my car. And that means “Live It Up” ultimately comes up short in my book…I think…

“Live It Up” hits stores Tuesday, November 16th. You can hear it for yourself here. Be sure to let me know what you think by posting a comment below or by sending an e-mail to my new address at

Photo Credit: RCA