How To Write An American Idol Single

Posted by Kimberly on May 6th, 2007

The American Idol songwriting contest was officially launched last week, and unsurprisingly there’s been quite a bit of negative buzz surrounding most of the songs. I’ve already taken a listen and voted, and honestly there’s only a handful of songs out of the top 20 that should even be considered. Personally, I think this was the strategy behind the scenes in order to ensure the songs they like make it, because I’ve heard better entries on the web that didn’t make the cut.

The Noteworthy Ones

“If You Ask Me To” by JH Writing Demos??
Genre: AC
This one is about letting love in. It sounds like something Mariah Carey would have sung (or perhaps did) back in her hay day. Classic simple ballad, very pretty melody and doesn’t over do it with the cliche climatic key changes and what not. Eh, I’m a sucker for this kind of song…..unfortunately.

[audio:http://girlstalkinsmack.com/media/ifyouaskmeto.mp3]

“Love Me till the Lonely’s Gone” by Tracey Naples
Genre: Pop/Country
Well, these lyrics are pretty raunchy for AI, I’m surprised it made it. It’s a ballad but it’s not exactly pop rock or AC, which makes it sound pretty different from all the other choices. I think one of the belters could do really well with this song. The downside is that the lyrics don’t exactly relate. Interestingly enough this song already won a songwriting contest.

[audio:http://girlstalkinsmack.com/media/lovemetill.mp3]

“Secrets and Lies” by Bryon Zanos
Genre: Pop Rock
The opening hook reminds me of Iris. It’s a rock ballad about a girl trying to improve her life or something. Kind of a stretch of the theme, but I like it. It’s pretty radio friendly.

[audio:http://girlstalkinsmack.com/media/secretsandlies.mp3]

“One Night” by Kelley Hill
Genre: AC
In the same vein of “If You Ask Me To”, but slightly more generic. I thought it was a bit bland at first but it grew on me. Lyric wise, it’s perfect for the show, and I do love this line, “one night i wish upon a star shoots right through the sky and seems to fall right where you are” Good fit for Jordin. I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets a lot of votes.

[audio:http://girlstalkinsmack.com/media/onenight.mp3]

“This Is My Now” by Krippayne
Genre: Pop
This is the song that’s getting the most buzz by far. I can see why people like it; that background music reminds me of that Chasing Cars song (just a little bit!) and a lot of the stuff that’s popular now. Personally, I’m not a fan of any of it. Even though I’m not crazy about this song, I think it would fit the finale like a glove.

[audio:http://girlstalkinsmack.com/media/thisismynow.mp3]

What they should ultimately do is take the top three and assign them to the contestants, or better let, have them choose themselves. Give “One Night” to Jordin, “If You Ask Me To” to Melinda, and who knows what to Blake. Seriously, if he makes it to the top 2 it will be interesting to say the least.

In the past there’s only been one coronation song that I’ve liked, and that was “This Is The Night”. And technically that can’t be called a coronation song since Clay didn’t win. But to me it was the only single that sounded like a real song and not just something written for the show (probably because it’s the only single that didn’t relate to “the experience”). Yeah, not even A Moment Like This ranks very high on my list. “Believe” isn’t too shabby. I liked “Flying Without Wings” by the original artists. “Do I Make You Proud” grew on me, and “Inside Your Heaven” is about as bad as it gets (minus “My Destiny”, of course).

You can listen and vote for yourself here. Mind you, there are some, erm, unique entries. Some of them have absolutely nothing to do with the “experience”, a couple of them drag so much they’ll put you to sleep, and one is an obvious rip off of Do I Make You Proud. Lots of pop rock songs too, not nearly as many belting ballads as you’d expect.

And by the way….the polls close May 8th!

MP3 credit to IDF







Category: American Idol