Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Where we can dance to the music 24/7

Anthony Callea has a big, pure voice; spiky hair; was runnerup on the second season of an Idol show (Australia), but has gone on to have more commercial success than the winner--notice any similarities? If you don't like Clay Aiken, though, don't let that steer you away from Anthony. Though they both have voices that sometimes sound like they might fit better beyond pop, Anthony's music is somewhat different from Clay's; it's more diverse, for one thing. Plus, he covers Backstreet Boys songs! (As a warning, my endorsement of some of Anthony's songs will probably go over just about as well as my admission that I enjoy Darius's singles.)

Rain--my first instinct is to compare Anthony to Josh Groban, and that doesn't make sense on so many levels, but I guess if that comparison was even slightly valid, you could hear it best on this song or "The Prayer." Swedish Idol contestant Ola has also performed this song and, though the versions are pretty similar, I think Ola's has a little bit of a lighter touch about it. It's a good strong power ballad (in the modern Idol sense, not in the rock sense; maybe there's a better word for this type of song, since guitars aren't really prevalent here as they are in many power ballads)--not hugely exciting, but pretty good as songs in that genre go. I have yet to work out what the chorus means, though; I suppose "she's falling like rain" is playing off the two meanings of falling (falling in love and falling because of gravity), but it's a little confusing.

Hurts So Bad--Fun and faster (though no speed demon) with some Latin-y flair. For some reason, the video feels to me like the nighttime counterpart to Gareth Gates's video for "Sunshine" (though no water is involved this time, and Gareth pulls off trying to be cool better than Anthony does...and I don't need to hear any comments about any sentence with "Gareth" and "cool" in it being an oxymoron!).

Lost in Summer--this song is sort of laid back--perfect chilling by the pool music--but at the same time, there's something vaguely dance-y about it; not "get up and dance like crazy" dancey, but maybe slow swaying. Despite the opening rain sound effects, a great summer song--sunny yet chilled, trying (trying) to seem impossibly cool. The drum (timpani? I don't know my percussion) makes the song distinctive.

When You Were My Girl--the inevitable sappy ballad, but I like this song. I am also amused by the second verse's use of "when I was your man" instead of "when you were my girl," just to make sure that all the politically correct bases were covered. The verses are all right, but it's the chorus (where the song soars) that makes the song.

Into Your Heart--This song feels like one of those ballads that has been remixed into an uptempo dance song, but this is no remix. Apparently, though, Anthony originally wrote it as a ballad and the producers turned it into a dance-type number for him to record, which I think was a smart decision; since Anthony's so known for his ballads, mixing in as many uptempo numbers as possible prevents him from seeming like a one-trick pony. Even if the song or Anthony's delivery isn't really that dancey, it sounds like it is.

This is supposedly his definitive performance on Australian Idol, but for sheer entertainment value, you can't really beat this.

To buy Anthony's only album so far, Anthony Callea, go here. It is ballad heavy, but probably worth owning for the songs listed here.

Next up: back to Europe, where we'll venture into our first non-English songs.


Paul said...

oh - i was always semi curious about the anthony - there seemed to be such a lot of press about him. His songs are pleasant enough, but as with little Shayney, it would behoove him to go a bit more uptempo from time to time :)

Paul said...

revised comment - i'm now quite into anthony...

Poster Girl said...

I do like Anthony (his songs have gotten some heavy play on my iPod at the beach), but he could go uptempo more often--the rest of his album is sort of bland; I know so many people love his ballads (even if they're not my thing), so maybe he could just throw a couple ballads on his next album for singles material and then make the "filler" a bunch of uptempo fun songs? I am worried about his next album, though: he was spotted recording with a huge orchestra (big dramatic ballad?) and I heard he cut his hair (which could be a Sampson-esque mistake; not only are spikes great for male popstars, Anthony can't be more than a couple of inches over five feet tall, so every extra inch helps :) ).