hi all -
I finally picked up Taylor's CD this weekend. I had listened to it online, but i finally sat down w/ the headphones and had a couple of good listens.
I can say with confidence that Taylor Hicks has done what no other idol winner has done - he has made a debut CD which accurately reflects on HIM as a performer. This is pure Taylor Hicks. It is not over-produced, it is not pop-drivel. This is Taylor Hicks.
The CD is very well done, well produced, and the songs selected on it fit perfectly with Taylor's voice. And, his voice, is in amazing form on this CD.
In addition, he actually has three songs on the CD that were on his last independently released CD. (The Walmart CD has "Hell Of A Day". Other stores do not include this track)
His choice of two covers are the highlights of the CD, in my opinion. I had never heard "Gonna Move" or "Wherever I Lay My Hat", and my favorite track on the CD is "Gonna Move". It embodies all that I loved about Taylor during the competition.
In addition to the covers and his own songs, the remaining tracks also shine with few exceptions. The first single "Runaround" is catchy as all hell, and you'll be singing along in no time. The Rob Thomas song-penned song "Dream Myself Awake" is another great song.
Even the weak "filler" material matches up with Taylor's voice and style. "Places I've Been" is a sappy Diane Warren song, and "The Maze" is just poppy extra, but Taylor sings the hell out of them anyway.
I have to comment on "The Right Place", a song written for Ray Charles, but never recorded due to his death. To hear Taylor sing it and to know his love for Ray Charles can give you the chills. You can imagine Ray singing it, and Taylor just nails the song.
This is a great CD and goes to prove that an Idol debut CD can actually be a great CD.
Well done, Taylor.