Katharine McPhee 'SMASHES' Through with 'Touch Me', Smash Soundtrack Due May 1st
If you watch Smash, NBC's brilliantly addictive prime time musical drama then you likely heard Katharine McPhee's song featured in last week's otherwise bland episode. Co-penned by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder (Kelly Clarkson, Jordin Sparks, Leona Lewis) and Bonnie McKee (Katy Perry, Taio Cruz, Britney Spears) "Touch Me" is utter electropop magnificence. While this dance pop gem is an awkward fit in a show that chronicles a team of Broadway producers, writers and actors trying to fast track a new Marilyn Monroe themed musical, as a standalone pop single it's PERFECTION.
"Touch Me" serves as the lead single from the forthcoming Smash soundtrack album, due out May 1st on Columbia Records. McPhee, who turned in a series of impressive performances during her season of American Idol (before losing to nobody Taylor 'Where Is He Now' Hicks), shines on this up-tempo club stomper. Bradley Stern of MuuMuse really hits the nail on the head in his review:
"Think Kelly Rowland‘s “Commander” meets Britney‘s “Hold It Against Me.” Not only is “Touch Me” pure dark, sexy club-pop euphoria, but it’s one of McPhee’s most thrilling pop productions yet. Actually, it’s probably her greatest song to date."
THIS is the kind of pop music she should have released from the get go, instead of that dud of a debut "Over It." While McPhee's second album single, "Love Story" was more in the vein of what I was expecting, in that it was a considerably more catchy, up-tempo pop song with fantastic remix potential, it was too little too late. By the time "Love Story" was released she had already faded into obscurity. Such a waste. Of course, back in 2007 dance pop was hardly the "IT THING" here in America, and McPhee's label at the time, RCA Records chose instead to push out some bland Mainstream Top 40 fare that they thought would connect with American Idol audiences. Epic fail.
Cut to three years later when McPhee underwent a drastic reinvention, going from brunette to blonde, signing to Verve Forecast, where she released a more mature, Adult Contemporary album, in line with the types of songs she sang while on Idol. The album was pretty solid in my opinion (check out my review HERE) and McPhee never sounded better, but she was still waiting for her big break. Well, as Jennifer Hudson proved, all good things come to those who wait. It's looking like Smash is for Katharine McPhee what Dreamgirls was for Hudson - minus all of the Awards and accolades of course. More like a guilty, soapy pleasure version of Dreamgirls.
With Smash, McPhee has a bonafied hit on her hands and "Touch Me" is the perfect reinvention single. In June, it was announced that McPhee had signed a new record deal with Columbia Records, the same label that owns the rights to the music from the fledgling series which, while not a ratings star, just landed a second season. Things are finally looking up for Katharine McPhee. Better late than never.
Check out "Touch Me" featured in an NBC promo for Smash below and pre-order The Music of Smash soundtrack on Amazon HERE. Download other tunes from the hit series on U.S. iTunes HERE.
Check out Katharine McPhee on the web: