Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Audio Day Dream
Genres: Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
The strategy sessions over how to present Blake Lewis's post-American Idol debut must have been excruciating, as label-types scratched their heads, wondering: Is it possible to market a disc full of beat-boxing? If not, wo... more »
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The strategy sessions over how to present Blake Lewis's post-American Idol debut must have been excruciating, as label-types scratched their heads, wondering: Is it possible to market a disc full of beat-boxing? If not, would the world warm to Blake Lewis, pop charmer? Or Blake Lewis, balladeer? The safest bet seems to have been to build a better post-prime time set by way of experimentation. Audio Day Dream unfolds much the way late-season American Idol shows do: It sets Lewis on a lot of platforms and lets him play up his charm, if not always his straight-outta-the-'80s musical predilections. Partially the brainchild of producer Ryan Tedder (One Republic), "Break Anotha" is pure beat-box Blake and, as such, it's demonically catchy. The same can be said for hip-hop and electro-tinged numbers such as "She's Makin' Me Lose It" and "Gots to Get To Her." Stabs at sentimentality surface, and they're not bad: "I Got U" may very well get you, if you like soft pop stylized with a nod in Adam Levine's direction. Overall, ADD demonstrates why Lewis blazed his way into AI's final round: He's out there, sure, but he's willing to reel it in enough to keep it real for the masses. -Tammy La Gorce
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Member CD Reviews
Kimberly G. (kimg2)
Reviewed on 5/11/2010...
I liked this cd. Although a lot of the songs are love songs, I wish he had sang about some other things. Still worth a listen.
Carla G. from CLOVIS, CA
Reviewed on 5/6/2010...
Most of the songs are awesome. Loved it!
Scott C. (scotso) from EAST ISLIP, NY
Reviewed on 7/14/2008...
Much better than I expected. The 2 worse songs, are the 2 they released as singles. Odd.... Standouts: End OF The World , Surrender, Making me Lose it, HAte 2 love her. The more upbeat songs are definitely more suitable for BL's voice. The slower/ballads shows his weaknesses, usually.
Audio Day Dream
Michelle | San Diego, CA | 12/04/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"So I really liked Blake Lewis' musical taste and experimentation on American Idol, tolerated the beatboxing but wasn't necessarily in love with it, was sure Jordin and Melinda outdid him on vocals and had absolutely no idea what his first album would sound like.
The label gave Blake relatively free rein on this album and he was heavily involved, with a writing credit on all but one of the tracks and I suspect a hand in production for all of them. There's an overall concept of "updated 80s mixtape", with various fusions of rock, pop, funk, r&b and soul with an overlay of a heavy 80s vibe of synth and electro effects.
What it all blends into is what I think is the first true pop record that hasn't fallen victim to Idol's "safe and sold" route. It's nicknamed A.D.D. for a reason, but somehow it all hangs together, and Blake keeps his reputation for eclectic style with substance. First thing you'll think: "Oh jeez, the 80s are back!", then "Hm, maybe that's not so bad after all."
The beatboxing is fairly minimal (except for one track which is *just* beatboxing) and his vocals are good enough for the job. The music is more about the beats, melodies, and production - lots of layers and little details; you really have to hear this through headphones to get the full experience. There are fun interludes between many of the tracks but I wish they'd gotten their own tracks instead of being stuck on the ends of songs.
1. Silence is Golden - short intro track, electro sound. Blake did a lot of EDM and ambient style singing in his former life and snuck it in on this and the Outro.
2. Break Anotha - First single, takes a guitar line from Jane's Addiction, adds beats and a Jekyll & Hyde storyline in the lyrics and turns out a club banger. Highlight is the crazy drum breakdown in the bridge, produced by Blake himself. 4/5
3. Gots To Get Her - Clever take on "Puttin On The Ritz", very catchy, another club song, the second single? 4/5
4. Know My Name - More mellow R&Btype track, reminded me of Musiq's "Just Friends". Lupe Fiasco guest-raps; catchy chorus, the bridge is the highlight here too. 4/5
5. How Many Words - Breakup letter to the ex, first of the surprising number of ballads on the disc. Nice layering of harmonies, maybe the vocal scratching is unnecessary but the song might drag a bit without it. 4.5/5
6. Surrender - First of the iffy tracks in the middle, first of the more obviously 80s songs on the disc. Good beat, catchy but it starts to all sound the same around the middle of the song. The only track Blake doesn't have a writing credit on. 2.5/5
7. Hate 2 Love Her - And here come the M5 comparisons. A little too similar to the songs in this part of the disc for me, doesn't really stand out. 2/5
8. Without You - The slow sappy ballad on the disc; would be right at home as the last song at a 1986 senior prom. Weakest track on the disc for me, could've done without it. 1/5
9. Here's My Hello - I get a lot of variety of reaction on this from people who hear it. Some say it's hot and should definitely be the next single, some say meh, doesn't stand out. I'm of the second group. Can't deny it's catchy though. 2/5
10. What'cha Got To Lose - Moving back into better territory. This is a more uptempo track, co-written with Idol buddy Chris Richardson and based off one of Blake's pre-Idol original songs. Hints of Tupac's California Love? 3/5
11. She's Makin Me Lose It - Okay, I gotta give this 5 cause it's SO PRINCE. Lots of fun! bt produced on this. 5/5
12. BShorty Grabs Mic! - Beatbox track, you'll love it or hate it. I guess he had to have one of these on here if this CD was really gonna be him. 1.5/5
13. End of The World - Now moving into the end section of electro-ballads. This to me is the strongest one, lots of lush layering, less boyband than you'd think. One of my faves. 5/5
14. 1000 Miles - So supposedly there's a "Sting-meets-Neverending-Story" song somewhere on the disc, and I think this is it :) Nice beat, melody flies, great driving song, another fave for me. 4.5/5
15. I Got U - Last full track, sweet melody, midtempo (none of these are true slow ballads except for Without You), ends the album on an up note. 4/5
16. I Choose Noise - Outro, the ambient/edm effects Blake likes so much.
Overall: Good strong debut with a unique sound. Hopefully enough people out there can set aside American Idol and give this CD a fair chance, because barring some same-ish sounding songs in the middle (I won't say boyband but I won't blame you if you do) this is a very smart, listenable album with lots of interesting ideas. Looking forward to more from Blake! Music is 4/5, but skewing to five stars cause originality should be encouraged ;)"
Dogville | Sunny Island | 12/04/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It is undeniable the talented beatboxer, Blake Lewis, is up to something good. Audio Day Dream confirms it. While many might liken him to be another Justin Timberlake-wannabe, Lewis has it in him to differentiate himself a little. On his debut outing, he works with mostly OneRepublic frontman, Ryan Tedder. The result is more electro-funk-pop with a tinge of rock.
First single, Break Anotha (co-written with Ryan Tedder and Sam Watters of Color Me Badd fame) is incredibly catchy and funky with some parts reminiscent of Missy Elliott. Know My Name probably draws much of its inspiration from 80s Prince (and thank god the only song that features rapping by Lupe Fiasco). The sappier tracks like How Many Words and I Got You recall Color Me Badd (Watters contributes again on End of the World). That's not a bad thing for they feel entirely different from those faster tracks. Electronic maestro BT contributes a track She's Making Me Losin' It where Lewis sings in his falsetto amid the blips and beats. End of the World and 1000 Miles also signal his aspirations in electronic music, with the latter breaking into vocodered stutters towards the end.
Knowing that beatboxing isn't the kind of thing the masses might enjoy, he has kept them mostly on the interludes interspersed throughout the album, occasionally showcasing them on the main songs. The majority of the album revels in the uptempo beats, something the newbie is effortless at. The closer, ...I Choose Noise is a sign of more good things to come. Except for a few fillers in the middle, Audio Day Dream does a good job at capturing Blake Lewis' musical persona. (B+)"