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American Idol Triple Play: New Videos For Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina And Pia Toscano

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

American Idol Triple Play: New Videos For Scotty McCreery, Lauren Alaina And Pia Toscano


Nothing like a little country music on a dreary, rainy day. That's what I always say. Actually, I never say that. I generally despise country music, with a few SMALL exceptions (Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Dixie Chicks, Kelli Pickler). I lost faith (and interest) in this past season of American Idol the minute Haley Reinhart was eliminated after coming in third place. When I knew there'd be 2 country singers in the final two, I just lost interest. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with country, as evidenced by my small list above...it just doesn't make for an interesting finale and it's very unlikely that I'd buy an album by a country artist. Add to these facts...Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina both bored me to tears. They didn't take chances, every performance sounded the same and they both lacked personality. Sure, Scotty McCreery had his deep, old-time country voice and Lauren Alaina was an emotional wreck half the time, but musically - neither contestant in the top two engaged me half as much as Haley Reinhart did. While Haley's personality wasn't always the best, she had what the other two contestants didn't (in my eyes). An AMAZING voice!  When she was eliminated, it was all over for me. WOMP WOMP.

Back at the end of July, Entertainment Weekly's music blog, Music Mix confirmed the rumor that Haley Reinhart had in fact been signed to Interscope Records, part of Universal Music Group, American Idol's new label group (replacing Sony Music).  While Haley isn't expected to start working on her album until after the American Idols Live tour wraps up next month, at least I know something is coming. Now, I can sit back, relax and watch the other Idol contestants release music.  This year's winner, North Carolina-native Scotty McCreery released his debut single, "I Love You This Big," on May 25th, immediately following the season finale.  Written by Jay Smith, Ronnie Jackson, Ester Dean and Brett James and produced by Mark Bright, the single makes the most of McCreery's good old fashioned country voice.  Sounding well past his young 17 years, Scotty sings his heart out in this uber-cheesy country ballad.  After it's release, the song climbed to #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #17 on the Hot Country Songs chart.  McCreery debuted the Shane Drake (the one responsible for all of those terrible Ford music videos)-directed video on August 9th on CMT.  Check out the video for "I Love You This Big" below and pre-order Scotty's debut album HEREdue out this Fall on Mercury Nashville.  You can also download Scotty's single on iTunes HERE.

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This year's second runner up was the adorable Lauren Alaina.  Hailing from Georgia, Lauren Alaina established herself as a country singer from the get-go.  While not quite as memorable as Season 5's Kelli Pickler, Alaina was plenty cute AND talented to boot.  Her debut single was the EQUALLY sappy "Like My Mother Does," written by Nathan Chapman, Liz Rose & Nicole Williams and produced by Mark Bright (who also produced Scotty's debut single).  The song was originally recorded by Season 7 contestant Kristy Lee Cook back in 2008 and then later by Atlantic Nashville recording artist Jesse Lee in 2009. So that makes Lauren Alaina the third person to sing this song?  Why not give the girl some fresh material to work with?  After it's May 25th release, "Like My Mother Does" went on to become a top twenty hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at #43 on the Hot Country Songs chart, making it the first CHARTING version of the song.  The Shaun Silva-directed video premiered on August 8th on CMT and features loads of footage of a young Lauren and her mother, whom she's made this song about apparently.  You can also pre-order Lauren Alaina's debut album HERE, due out this Fall on Mercury Nashville.  Download the single on iTunes HERE.

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Finally, saving the best for last (I guess). New York native, Pia Toscano.  Eliminated 5th from Idol, this girl bored me to tears during her short run on the reality series.  Sure, Toscano was absolutely stunning and very very talented, but as far as personality goes...well she had none. What's worse -she's a ballad singer.  Nothing wrong with a ballad here and there, but for God's sake - Change it up like the judges are telling you week after week!  Toscano's first single, "This Time," (no - unfortunately it's NOT a Janet Jackson cover)  was released on July 11th, peaking (so far) just outside of the Hot 100 at #104.  The power ballad was co-written by B. Seals, D. JonesEster Dean Brett James (the latter two co-wrote Scotty McCreery's debut single) and produced by Brian Kennedy and Ester Dean.  The song is decidedly pop with some slight country undertones, which make for an altogether confusing listening experience.  Not only do I detect a slight twang in Toscano's vocal AND in the instrumentation, but the lyrics in the first verse are very country.  That twang (sort of) goes away by the time she hits the chorus and the sets itself back on the pop-music course.  Initially I couldn't stand this song but I have to say it's growing on me.  Directed by Marc Klasfeld, the video for "This Time" premiered August 9th, the same day as Scotty McCreery's and features a beautiful Pia Toscano in a Mustang, singing in a field, singing on a beach, and singing on a dark city street.  Not the most original concept but at least it's not overly sappy.  Pia Toscano's debut album should be out later this year/early next year on Interscope Records.  Download the single HERE on iTunes for only $0.69.




Check Out Scotty McCreery on the web: 

 Check Out Lauren Alaina on the web: 

Check Out Pia Toscano on the web: 

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