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[2006] Clay Aiken - A Thousand Different Ways (Mp3 Download)




Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine @ allmusic.com
Don't call it a comeback -- and don't call it a retreat, either. Actually, it's hard to know what to call A Thousand Different Ways, Clay Aiken's second proper album, endlessly delayed and long-awaited, at least by the hoards of fans enthusiastically calling themselves Claymaniacs, of which there are many. There were enough Claymaniacs to make the American Idol season two runner-up one of the two biggest stars the show has produced to date -- the other, of course, being Kelly Clarkson -- propelling his debut album, Measure of a Man, to number one upon its 2003 release. Chart success means a lot, particularly for an American Idol, and it would seem that blockbuster success would embolden a pop star. That certainly was the case with Kelly Clarkson, who came on strong with her second album, forever banishing the specter of AmIdol as she swaggered through the irresistible "Since U Been Gone." Given Kelly's example, it would seem that Clay could have come out swinging with A Thousand Different Ways and do something interesting, but Aiken had a rough year leading up to the release of his sophomore set, all having to do with rumors that he may be gay. There wasn't one rumor; there were many, some accompanied by photos (which were dissected by his fans as if they were the Zapruder film), some accompanied by salacious stories, most notoriously an ex-Marine who appeared on Howard Stern telling very, very salacious stories, filled with graphic details. It was an ugly furor, stoked by gossip mongers on the Internet who delighted in each new twist, and Aiken handed it badly, blustering denials and then going into hiding, letting the Claymaniacs fight the battle for him -- which only heightened the gossip, naturally. Normally, such gossip would be a sideshow to the main album, but the gossip started affecting the album itself, pushing it back by months and possibly shaping its contents, since A Thousand Different Ways is the furthest thing from a risk: it's an album made directly for those fans who stuck by him during the dark times. It makes Measure of a Man, with its songs written by Aldo Nova and soaring kitsch like the unintentionally creepy "Invisible," seem the epitome of daring.

This record has a couple of new made-to-order tunes for Clay, but for the most part it consists of songs you know by heart, equal parts popular standards and adult contemporary schlock. Clay sings Richard Marx's "Right Here Waiting," does the billionth version of Badfinger's "Without You," copies Paul Young's take on Hall & Oates' "Every Time You Go Away," gallantly tries to give Bryan Adams' "Everything I Do (I Do It for You)" some momentum, does a really nice job with Dolly Parton's "Here You Come Again" (the closest thing to a genuine surprise here), rivals Celine Dion on "Because You Loved Me," is as mawkish as Foreigner on "I Want to Know What Love Is," stumbles through Mr. Mister's "Broken Wings," and naturally does a pretty good job with Elton John's "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word." The cumulative effect of all these covers plus three undistinguished new songs is like a season of American Idol in microcosm: it's uncannily like listening to outtakes from the show. And it's the first album from any American Idol contestant to sound exactly how they did on the show. Justin Guarini, George Huff, Josh Gracin, and even William Hung sound different on record than they did on the show -- but not Clay, one of the few genuine superstars from the show. He sounds exactly how you remember him from TV, which only means that he must have been scared that he'd lose those legions of fans he won way back then. And A Thousand Different Ways will satisfy those fans -- but the truth is, they probably would have stuck with him anyway, even if he did something more interesting than this, which is as predictable and slick as a latter-day Barry Manilow album. At least it is better sung than a recent Barry album, and Clay's bizarre gossip-page psychodrama does lend his music a certain fascination. After all, how can somebody release an album this safe and then wrap it up in a photo of himself where he adopts k.d. lang's haircut from Ingénue? Only Clay, and that's why he has Claymaniacs -- plus plenty of other pop culture junkies -- following his every move.


Track Lists
01. Right Here Waiting
02. Lonely No More
03. Without You
04. Everytime You Go Away
05. Sorry Seems to be The Hardest Word
06. When I See You Smile
07. A Thousand Days
08. Everything I Do (I Do It For You)
09. Because You Loved Me
10. I want To Know What Love Is
11. These Open Arms
12. Here You Come Again
13. Everything I Have
14. Broken Wings

Download Instruction

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Notice

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  • Although you can have all these mp3s for free, I still recommend you to buy the original CD. I do buy the original CD.
  • All credits go to original uploader...

What People Said

I can't agree with your review. These are beautifully arranged fresh takes on classic songs and the originals are even better. One of them was written by Clay, although I don't see the writer giving him credit.

The ugly rumors that have been dogging Clay since he admitted that he was a clean living and religious man are horrifying. I can't blame him for not knowing how to handle such salacious and defamatory attacks on his character.

How sad that the writer felt the urge to give these lies more time and attention. He has denied the stories in People Magazine and on numerous TV interviews including Good Morning America and Larry King.

Why am I not surprised that a sick bastard like Howard Stern and a lying porn actor, (who recently confessed that his whole story was a hoax), are your sources.

The smear campaign that was done to Clay is downright criminal. Too bad people like you would rather spread the lies than to write responsibly. This incredibly talented nice guy can't catch a break. Anonymous Anonymous :: 4/2/07, 4:32 PM :: Top  

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BLOGBLIGHT ALERT!

This blog is infested with blogblight: n. Malicious lies, half-truths, distortions and insinuations perpetuated mindlessly by bloggers publishing misinformation, photos or video from each others blogs, or the tabloids, with no thought to the veracity, authenticity or libelous nature of the content.

The blight bloggers range from professional journalists (who should know better) down to the celebrity gossip hacks. Similar blight occurs in the other news media (tabloids) as well, but is more pervasive on the internet because of the anonymity accorded many of those who perpetuate it.

Blogblight undermines one of the basic values of the internet, information sharing. Rather than seeing legitimate and accurate information, internet users see blogblight instead.

This blog also has a bad case of DumBlight. Anonymous BlogBlightBuster :: 4/2/07, 9:09 PM :: Top  

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I know what to call Clay Aikens sophomore album : an album mandated by Clive Davis who rejected the album of originals presented to him by Clay and his EP . Let's see what Clay comes up with when he has some freedom and is out from under Clive's withered thumb . Then we can talk risk .

Like the music . Hate the music . I respect that but the idea of bringing salacious unproven rumors into an album review is despicable . It shows me that the reviewer has little interest in music but is good at middle school level gossip-mongoring . What a shame . Anonymous Augusta :: 4/2/07, 10:06 PM :: Top  

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those review, as mentioned on the very top of this post, was written by Stephen Thomas Erlewine on AMG. here's the original link.

Thanks anyway... :) Blogger riefky w. el huraibi :: 4/2/07, 10:26 PM :: Top  

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