An inexpert review: American Idol 10 Top 13 Studio Recording Compilation on iTunes (album audio sampler)

We forget how big companies get ‘there’ – by becoming very enterprising cough-cunning-cough-shrewd. iTunes is no different.

When they premiered the American Idol Top 13 compilation after midnight, March 10th- they conveniently released the ‘album only’ download first for a good number of hours until users were fuming mad with negative reviews. It meant shelling out $7.99 for the complete set when most fans want only 2 or 3 songs from it.

We were among the anxious ones! iTunes’ trick worked on us. We bought the entire thing because we thought they weren’t selling the singles– only to find out this morning, they offered them for $1.29 each!! Just as well so we can put in our two cents on it.

As our title suggests, we are no expert on music but we love music. We can’t live without it! We go by what we feel, how the song affected us or connected with us. So with that, we can always agree to disagree.

The entire album is ‘strategically’ arranged. You’d think they go by the order of performances on Idol. Nope. They wanted to start and end the album with a bang, squeeze in the other notables in between the bad ones and there you go, you have one entertaining album that you’d want to listen on repeat [except for 2 or 3 we wanted to delete but feel guilty because we paid for them]!

 

We will review by the album order [the bracket is the order of their performance on Idol]:

01 Casey Abrams – With a Little Help From My Friend by the Beatles [2]

What a way to open the album! Very smooth, a lot of soul in there from Mr. Soulman himself! We hope he’s not another Taylor Hicks in the making though. A lot of ummmphhs and ooohhs and if you’re not into that, could be distracting for you, as well as the backup harmonies that keeps echoing, following Casey like his own shadow! The band is also somewhat overpowering that Casey seems in battle with the instruments.  Casey’s rendition excellent. Thumbs down for the production!

02 Naima Adedapo – Umbrella by Rihanna [13]

Naima is the clear winner on this album. Read, on this album. Her song stood out as the only commercial track out of the 13. She sang one of Rihanna’s most recognizable tune which makes her current and likable. Her voice sounds sooo good! Very recordable, radio friendly! Best produced track in the album. The fact that this song has been covered enough, and to squeeze in a unique reggae/rap interpretation to it that’s hip is a winner.

03 Lauren Alaina – Any Man of Mine by Shania Twain [1]

We don’t like country but we like Shania Twain. Lauren fans please don’t get mad but if you look up Karaoke in the dictionary, they just added the picture of Lauren. Sorry. She is the most overrated contestant this season. She may sound great onstage ‘live’ but this record speaks- she sounds generic. Maybe in a few years, her voice will change and she’ll find her own sound. If she’s going country, she won’t be able to compete with Carrie Underwood or even Kellie Pickler sounding like that.

04 James Durbin – Maybe I’m Amazed [6]

Maybe I’m amazed indeed! James really showed his soft side in this tune. Just when we were starting to dislike him because he is TOO rockish for our taste, he delivers this unpretentious and honest rendition. We felt he held back a little on this recording, his live performance was way better but we liked this one too.

05 Ashthon Jones – When You Tell Me That You Love Me [3]

Never been a fan of this particular song and Ashton didn’t do anything to make us like it. Diana Ross has gazillion hits and she’d pick this one, beats us! She’s pitch-y all over the place. Not sure how this record got past the studio! She just really ‘wasted’ her opportunity. The judges saved her and put her on the wild card, for this? We don’t want to go “there” but it’s clear the judges picked her on the wildcard to add ‘more color’ to the show. Kendra Chantelle should have been in the Top 13!! It didn’t help that all three judges desperately tried to praise her live performance when it was all wrong. Hate to say it but probably the worst track in the album. She’s got the confidence of a diva but she ain’t one– yet!

06 Stefano Langone – Lately [10]

OMG! Stefano can sing and he can sing Stevie Wonder!! And he can sing like he owned the song! The intro was great until the arrangement got weirder and weirder towards the middle and end! What the heck is this genre?! House music? Still Beautiful though, his fantastic vocals pulled it through.

07 Jacob Lusk – I Believe I Can Fly [8]

We feel bad critiquing Jacob. We believe he is the next Luther Vandross. What on earth is he doing singing an R. Kelly song?!! Argh! if they can only place Jacob’s “God Bless the Child” on this album then it would have been perfect. Instead, we get this trite and over-exhausted song of “I Believe I can Fly.” Yawn. Jacob didn’t do anything with this song. Second Worse.

08 Scotty McCreery – The River [12]

We didn’t think it’s possible but Scotty can make anyone like Country. Didn’t we just write we don’t like country? Scott McCreery has country flowing in his veins and it shows in his every performance. The kid can sing country and he will be embraced by country fans!

09 Paul McDonald – Come Pick Me Up [4]

Paul’s voice is really unique. It is nice to just LISTEN to him instead of watch his borderline ‘spastic-i’m-having-a-slight-seizure-‘ dance moves performance onstage. At some instance, his voice is too ‘throaty’ so he should watch out and control it. This is soft and sweet. Paul, you should sing David Gray’s “Babylon.” It’s right up your alley- you’d nail the song!!

10 Thia Megia – Smile [9]

Thia made us truly smile on this one. Her voice is so sweet and innocent yet powerful, rich and controlled at the same time. Her live performance was off because the transition from intro to the jazzy part was sloppy. The studio recording sounded great! The transition was smooth and flowing. The instrumental beats in the middle of the song (1:35) is addictive! This is the sweetest surprise in the entire album. We loved it. She deserves to go far in the competition.

11 Haley Reinhart – Blue [7]

So Haley, not your fault but we’re just not a fan of yodeling… and since when were you a country singer? Are you as confused as we are as to the kind of artist you want to be? Very lounge-y and karaoke-esque. If you sing more like that, you’d replace Lauren’s photo in the dictionary under the definition of “karaoke.”

12 Karen Rodriguez – I Could Fall In Love [11]

NOT. Karen just sang this song. No flavor, too bland for our taste. If we wanted to Listen to a Selena song, we’d listen to Selena. Yawn. Next.

13 Pia Toscano – All By Myself [5]

We’re trying to force ourselves to love this version because Pia’s vocals here is just unbelievable! Our issue is the song itself. Again and again we hear it every season- during audition, Hollywood week or the idol stage. Having said that, they didn’t save the best for last for nothing. Pia, if she plays her cards right- can win this whole competition. She is THE COMPLETE PACKAGE ARTIST. Bravo!

Thoughts? Violent reactions? Do share.

Of Apple Users, Geeks, George Bush and the Politics of Digg

Are there ways to get more DIGGs?  Indeed there are.  It has been noticed that something as simple as the title can make all the difference.  Key words like “Apple” and “Geek” are often found in titles for articles with numerous DIGGs.  Even hating the right person can get you in.  Articles that attack George Bush are quite popular, even though they likely never get read.  However, that isn’t enough, and the real truth on how to get more DIGGs is rather interesting.

We have often wondered about DIGG.COM.  The reason?  It makes no statistical or logical sense that their system could work on a large scale.  DIGG started as a web site for bloggers to help find other bloggers.  A neat idea, but not a commercial one or one that could work on a large scale.   Once commercialized and popular, everything that gets “DUGG” is suspect.  And many so-called blogs now are full blown commercial web sites.  They are no longer the friendly blogs used by individuals to express themselves that they used to be.

We would expect it to be the case, given these circumstances, that as a site such as DIGG advances in popularity, a few successful blogs’ articles would repeatedly grace its top rankings and the masses would generally get ignored.  We would expect, over time, the model for getting DIGGs would change quite dramatically, and indeed it has. Our part 2 will tell you more!  If you would like us to continue our story, please DIGG this article.

DIGG buried it because they don’t want you to know.

Obama’s New Catch And Release Program


Obama’s latest brain child? Don’t just close Guantánamo, but bring the terrorists home for dinner in America.

In his most recent statement in favor of the outright destruction of the US, Obama wants to bring the Guantánamo prisoners here to America for trial.

This article has moved to its new home, The Lie Politic. Please continue reading by clicking here and you will be directed to the new site. Thank you!

America Being Played For Fools By Terrorist Islam

Think honestly to yourself, no matter how liberal or radical you are, if, in 2001, someone told you after 9/11 our next President would have the middle name Hussein and the endorsement of terrorist organizations throughout the world, would you have believed it?

Some may say it is racist, but how can anyone deny it? Obama’s name has a similarity to Osama that is laughably close. To add the middle name Hussein has to be a joke on America. Coincidence like that does not occur. Of 350 million Americans, we are about to possibly elect Barrack Hussein Obama?

It cannot be coincidence. To realize he was raised a Muslim in Indonesia, all you have to do is make any attempt to research his past. For the man to claim he is a Christian is another farce. He has no church!

Obama has had associations with terrorists throughout his life. He claims he is a Christian, but abandoned his Church after his minister preached to “God Damn America”. In addition, the farcical church to which he belonged was not Christian as any sense of the word as Americans would understand it. A Christian church that did not believe in or preach Christian beliefs.

Obama wants to negotiate with Iran without precondition and abandon Iraq just like we did with Afghanistan years ago with disastrous results. Whose interests does this protect or assist? Iran would love the opportunity to walk into Iraq. The Iranian supported Shiites in Iraq would love to resume the genocide of their brethren hated by Iran.

And who endorses Obama? Most of his financial contributions are concealed and appear to be from international sources. Obama has refused to disclose them. And this video speaks of the types of supporters Obama has throughout the world

Obama has amassed a fortune in support from America’s enemies including over $33000 from two Palestinian brothers in a Hamas Refugee Camp. This is reported by Newsweek people, not some fly by night blog like HuffingtonPost.com.  And do you know who Huffington is owned by?  Oil barrons that made all their money off of oil!!  Surprised?

Obama and his money has even fooled American Jews, who apparently have been buffaloed into supporting him despite the fact he has spoken of a divided Jerusalem.

Bush has a very low satisfaction rating. A similar collapse in confidence occurred to Lyndon Johnson in the Vietnam war making him the last president to see such a complete loss of voter confidence. But to blame everything in the world on Bush and to feel that a Muslim associated with terrorists will solve all our problems if elected President is a sick joke on America pulled off beautifully with the money you have paid Arab nations for your fuel over the past several years.

As Obama allies with the Muslim nations that hold us hostage for our use of oil and that had much to do with driving us into this recession, Obama states how Exxon is at fault and McCain as well. This is to defer the actual responsibility from his brethren in OPEC that did everything they could to destroy our economy and drive oil prices higher. Think about what nation the 9/11 terrorists were from. It wasn’t Brazil folks. It was Saudi Arabia! Do you think they saw a huge benefit in the surge in the price of oil that resulted?

Expect Obama to ally with Iran and watch the assimilation of Iraq by the Shiites and Iran. Expect Obama to go into Afghanistan temporarily to justify his withdrawal from Iraq only to hand it back to the Taliban. Expect Obama to install the welfare state he preaches distributing the supposed wealth (operating capital) of small business to those that abuse the welfare system.

Just blame it all on Bush after Obama creates a Socialist state that supports Islam at the expense of a democratic America. To have elected a black man president is an honor. To elect one that is a Muslim with terrorist associations is an abomination.

Barack Obama: Elitism or the Condemnation of Intellect?

During this remarkable U.S. election season, talking points, laced with politically jargoned rhetoric have entered our ears and appeared before our eyes- thanks to the reporting of today’s numerous media sources and user blogs.

Anyone who has attempted to keep stride with the ever morphing events, within and between the presidential campaigns, has by now become acquainted with such keywords and phrases as, “earmarks,” “energy independence,” and “reform.” Additionally, another phrase has become a staple within mostly conservative circles and used as a rhetorical weapon against the opposition- “elitism.”

For the record, a rough definition of a person who embodies elitism is one who believes that he or she is of superior distinction and thus entitled to be treated and considered favorably.

Specifically, elitism is the word that has been pinned to the backside of Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama. And that pesky little tail has been left to dangle in the minds of voters.

However, this election will not make the first time that many conservative politicians, and citizens alike, have labeled their more liberal counterparts as “elite.” Although ironically, it was Hillary Clinton who first pegged Barack Obama as “elite,” following a speech in San Francisco where he referred to people living in rural America as, “bitter, and clinging to guns and religion.”

The Full Quote:

“You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are going to regenerate, and they have not. So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter. They cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them, or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” – Barack Obama – 4/6/08

It is obvious to understand why many Americans felt incensed by the above speech. On the surface, it appeared to be judgmental and divisive. However, is it possible that some Americans were upset by Obama’s remark because it hit too close to home?

Art Imitates Life – when in doubt, expound with a movie reference…

Entertainment notwithstanding, all we would need to do is watch the biographical movie, “Boys Don’t Cry,” to witness art imitating life. “Reel” life: where intolerant and disenfranchised communities, such as Richardson County, Nebraska, depicted in the movie, do exist. Of course, the movie in question is an extreme example, perhaps even a controversial one when used in this context, but still relevant.

Barack Obama has been called a rockstar, a snob, and most outrageously, “The Messiah.” Such accusations stem from Obama’s education, to his capacious and reflective oratory style, and popularity.

In May, John McCain urged Barack Obama to take a trip with him to Iraq. The objective would have been for McCain to prove to Obama that U.S. efforts have helped to stabilize Iraq. Obama declined the invitation, but in July, took a trip of his own to several countries in the Middle East, Including Iraq, and Europe.

Due to his popularity overseas, Barack Obama was notably depicted as the “biggest celebrity in the world,” by the McCain campaign. The message was relayed in an ad that aired after his trip to Europe, where he delivered a speech before a crowd of 200,000, in Berlin, Germany.

In August, while Barack Obama and family were on vacation in Hawaii, the RNC sent copies of what was called the “Barack Obama’s Hawaii Travel Guide,” to reporters. In the mock travel guide, a spotlight was focused on the Punahou School, the college preparatory institution that Obama attended in his youth. Conclusions were drawn, indicating that the RNC lampooned Obama’s education in its parody travel guide.

On a side note, Barack Obama attended the aforementioned college preparatory school from grade 5, until he graduated from high school. As a young adult, he attended Columbia and Harvard Law School, where he rose to be president of The Harvard Law Review.

Undoubtedly, the life of Barack Obama represents a classic case of the ever romanticized “American Dream,” no?

We should be comfortable asserting that most every American who was raised by responsible parents, regardless of class, was encouraged to study and do well in school. We should be willing to further assert that those same American children were also encouraged to attend college with goals of absorbing the relevant academia necessary for achieving their personal “American Dream.”

If we are honest with ourselves and subscribe to the above, we will fail to understand how conservatives, the RNC, some of our personal acquaintances, as well as our fellow late-night message board warriors have come to the conclusion that Barack Obama is indeed, an “elitist.”

Many Republicans and conservatives have reveled in the pick of Sarah Palin, Vice Presidential Candidate on the Republican ticket. Numerous reasons account for the support Palin has received from conservatives and the GOP. One reason Sarah Palin admirers give to explain their support for her is her “everyday people” appeal. These voters prefer the simple talk of Sarah Palin and John McCain to the poignant speech of Barack Obama- which is of course, their choice. However, much of the McCain/Palin supporters’ beliefs travel beyond the realm of preference- many of those supporters actually condemn the intellect of Barack Obama. This is evident with such statements as, “He (Obama) has so much to say but I just can’t be bothered to try to understand it.” Or, “He (Obama) can’t just say what he needs to without blathering about.” These are actual quotes from everyday people.

Since when has being a highly educated person become something to look down upon in America?

Is it because some of us feel inferior when faced with the apparent intellect of others?

How could this attitude affect how our children view education?

Curiously, a contour of conservative values is self-reliant independence, yet many conservatives demonize education- the fundamental vessel for success in America. How sad and unfortunate it is that so many would rather elevate their egos with the illusion of “relating” to their “neighborly-like” presidential pick, instead of embracing a fine product of education- Barack Obama.

Should Republicans and conservatives support Barack Obama for president? No. They should also cease insulting their own personal intellect and patriotism by condemning a genuine manifestation of the “American Dream,” which is Barack Obama.

Obama, “Say It To My Face”. If You Do, You are Covered Under Obama’s Plan

By S Daniel Miller, Guest Writer

Obama attacked John McCain in a recent TV interview, saying “Say It To My Face”. What is amusing about Obama’s response is that it is, in and of itself, an attack. Obama has been running a negative attack on McCain from day one. For him to criticize the McCain camp for any negative comment is laughable.

Obama has attacked every facet of the current administration and made every attempt to link McCain and the Bush Administration, no matter how different those policies are and no matter how different they are from the past. Obama started this dirty campaign during the primaries, and now he whines and cries wolf when McCain strikes back.

One of Obama’s best quotes ever.

“I am surprised that, you know, we’ve been seeing some pretty over-the-top attacks coming out of the McCain campaign over the last several days, that he wasn’t willing to say it to my face. But I guess we’ve got one last debate. So presumably, if he ends up feeling that he needs to, he will raise it during the debate.”

Maybe McCain should, but then again why give Obama any chance to defend his radical positions. Should we give his nonsensical attacks equal time to the real issues. The Republicans should take a new tack. The Obama campaign is brilliant at promising America nirvana by spending money they do not have.  With the economy getting flushed down the toilet, neither man has the ability to deliver on any of the promises, so McCain may as well follow Obama’s lying lead and promise planetariums in every house, free real estate for every citizen, new appliances for every home owner.

As an example of the foolishness of the Democratic camp, one should consider heavily the promise of the Obama Health Plan. It is insane. He promises to cover pre-existing conditions, for anyone. In Massachusetts, they instituted the exact same plan last year. IDENTICAL. And after JUST ONE YEAR, premiums on most plans are up 40% in the state as healthy people are forced to pay for the sick. It is just another TAX people!! Welfare for the ill. They are just finding another way to tax you without your knowledge!!

In Massachusetts, and nationally, if Obama gets his way, your best bet is to just pay the tax penalties; they are vastly cheaper than the exorbitant price of insurance that has now exploded to about $20000 to $24000 a year for a decent plan. Then, just pay the doctor out of pocket. It is way cheaper for a person of normal health. And then, if you get sick, sign up!! You can be on the plan by the 1st of the ensuing month. GREAT PLAN!!

Massachusetts is obtuse in pursuing this kind of plan, and Obama is using it as a model. The result will be everyone will be forced to pay ridiculous medical premiums to support people that jump on the train just as they get seriously ill.

I am pregnant, honey, sign up for insurance.

I was just diagnosed with cancer, sign up for insurance.

I just had blood in my stool, sign up for insurance.

Our tax dollars at work.  Democrats need more of them.  Lots more.

ABC’s Charlie Gibson/Barack Obama Interview 10-8-08

Integrity Watch: Hey McCain…. Say it to His Face

Tuesday, October 7, 2008, Barack Obama carried himself with fluid ease and grace during the second and most recent presidential debate. He seemed to wear a steady, almost amused expression throughout the evening. Could it have been because he was calmly laying in wait of McCain to mention his association with William Ayers?

Obama seemed to grow more amused still, as the debate drew closer to the end. Was it because he realized that McCain would likely sidestep the issue altogether, which in turn could create quite the advantageous situation for Obama?

Such an advantageous moment arose when Barack Obama was interviewed by ABC’s Charlie Gibson, Wednesday night. Due to the recent effort of the McCain campaign to convince voters that Barack Obama is the wrong type of American, thus cannot to be trusted, Gibson questioned Obama as to whether he was surprised that John McCain failed to mention Obama’s relationship with William Ayers during the last debate. Obama replied with this:

“Well, I am surprised that, you know, we’ve been seeing some pretty over-the-top attacks coming out of the McCain campaign over the last several days that he wasn’t willing to say it to my face.”

What a beautiful and brilliant move on Obama’s part.

In this play, Obama issues a clear challenge to McCain. He’s basically sayin’ *(wink)* to him, “Put up, or shut up.” Obama’s statement, no doubt, implies that he is willing to address the issue. It places McCain in a very precarious position, for certain. Ick!

I mean…really? What in creation is a maverick to do?

Let us assume that John McCain does not want to incorporate the subject of William Ayers into the next debate. What will he do, or not do, in the meantime?

Will McCain and Palin, in respect of campaigning, stop the terrorist association speech, and officially reprimand the vile rhetoric ascending from the crowds?

If the Straight Talk Express mutes its mention of Obama’s association with William Ayers over the next week leading to the debate, the GOP base might view McCain as folding under Obama’s challenge- “…he wasn’t willing to say it to my face.”

How does a bona fide alpha maverick justify backing down?

Not to mention that McCain suddenly opting out of the hate would present a clear admittance of guilt and evidence of wrongdoing in the minds of undecided voters. Tisk.

On the other hand, if McCain and Palin continue to incite lunacy along the campaign trail, and McCain again fails to mention Ayers during the final debate, it could serve to solidify the belief that John McCain and integrity, (are more than likely), not mutually exclusive. John McCain has accused Barack Obama of nothing short of travesty in the company of his followers, yet he cannot bring himself to take up the matter with the man, himself.

Of course, finally, if McCain decides to answer Obama’s challenge by introducing the William Ayers association into next week’s debate, voters may possibly see it as a desperate and misplaced move. After all, as Obama remarked to Gibson about McCain, “…he wasn’t willing to say it to my face.”

Really, Obama looks like Joe Pesci (Casino) right now…”Listen to me Anthony. I got your head in a ******* vise.”

Well, figuratively speaking, that is.

Obama Coverup, Affiliation With Known Terrorists Questions Candidate’s Ideology

During the Democratic primaries, Hillary Clinton became aware of an association between a known terrorist, Bill Ayers, and Senator Barrack Obama.  She stated that this association could be used by the Republican party to discredit Obama if he became the Democratic nominee for President. As more news on this relationship comes to light, it appears she may well have been correct.

Bill Ayers and his wife, Bernadine Dohrn, were known terrorists for a group called the Weather Underground. Ayers claims to have set bombs at the US Capitol and the group was involved in the bombing of government buildings in the 60s and 70s.   Among those bombings was an attack on the Pentagon in 1972. Ayers has been repeatedly unrepentant about the attacks.  In 2001, this article appeared with Ayers standing on the American Flag as it lies in the dirt.

There are reasons to be concerned, primarily because Obama has made sincere efforts to conceal or downgrade his relationship with Ayers.  Obama, when asked about his relationship with Ayers in one of the debates during the Democratic Primary responded,

“This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who’s a professor of English in Chicago who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from. He’s not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis. And the notion that somehow as a consequence of me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was eight years old, somehow reflects on me and my values doesn’t make much sense, George.”

Obama left it at that, but as it turns out, that was hardly the entire story.  We find it amazing that Obama could brush off bombing of the US Capitol and the Pentagon so lightly!!! And this was much more than a casual acquaintance between the two, according to this article in the Wall Street Journal,

“From 1995 to 1999, he (Obama) led an education foundation called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC), and remained on the board until 2001. The group poured more than $100 million into the hands of community organizers and radical education activists.”

This demonstrates a  5 year relationship between Obama and Ayers, who was one of the original grantees of the CAC and was co-chairman of the Chicago School Reform Collaborative, one of the two operational arms of the CAC.”

Obama obviously had not been forthcoming in the debate and has not answered to his affiliations to Ayers, and, according to this article, looks to be attempting to cover up that relationship.

Andrew McCarthy, former federal prosecutor that led the investigation into the 1993 World Trade Center bombing when asked about Ayers had this to say, “Of all the people that have ever bombed the Pentagon, the State Department and a New York City Police Department headquarters, I am certain he is one of the best”.

We are disturbed with these allegations and would like a clear explanation from Senator Obama regarding his affiliation with CAC.  We do not wish to have the President of our nation, especially after 9/11, affiliated in any way with terrorists.  Such a tie would be a disgrace to America and endorse terrorist activities world-wide.

Beyond the implied associations with terrorism, it also brings into question Obama’s ideology.  Certainly such an affiliation implies Obama’s leanings are much more radical than they would otherwise appear.