With the beginning of a new round of American Idol comes the annual wake of Idol alumni hoping you still remember them from whatever previous season they came from. Amid criticisms of Idol losing its mojo and the recent commercial demise of previous winners (except Carrie Underwood) it may seem like a bad time to be a former contestant, but this years crop has generated some listenable moments so far.
First up, Melinda Doolittle, the ace background singer that gave flawless vocal performances every week until she was unceremoniously booted in favor of the more teen appealing Jordan Sparks. Doolittle specialized in a Gladys Knight sort of soul, mature classic R&B with a warm groove to work with outstanding control and timing. Following her run on American Idol she kept a low profile and it seemed she would just disappear. Now Doolittle returns with a new song that is a pretty good piece of retro soul that is made better by her emotive voice.
Melinda Doolittle "It's Your Love"
Second is Kelly Clarkson's new single, the appropriately titled "My Life Would Suck Without You". After her failed bid to move from entertainer to Artiste' with the crash and burn that was My December, Clarkson is ready to play the pop star game again. Her first offering is a song that seems as much a plea to her fanbase as it is a love song, "My Life Would Suck Without You" breezes by on a "Since U Been Gone" beat. Sure it's a sequel, but it sticks in my head just the same.
Kelly Clarkson "My Life Would Suck Without You"Everyone loves a comeback story and now we have two people lined up to reclaim national attention. Can they do it? Clarkson is creating a buzz with "Suck" setting chart records, let's hope Doolittle can get some deserving attention too.