Tuesday, October 03, 2006

So this is how it feels to walk in a daydream

I think I've spent most of the news I could conceivably update you all on in my two previous posts today, so I can't really make this a news update; I'm a little too excited, though, to make it about anything else. Instead, I guess it'll be some rambling about Anthony Callea (but I'll try to not repeat too much of what I've said before) and then, at the end, I'll throw in a song.

For those of you who haven't heard of him before, you absolutely must go back and read the first post I did about him, which you can get to here; for those of you who need an incentive, I checked and the music links I posted--for what I think are the best songs on his debut album--still work. Further Anthony Callea discussion (and another song, this time essentially a pre-Idol demo) can be found here (I'm very self-referential today, aren't I?).

Anthony has a new single and album coming out this year. The album is (fairly reliably) going to be a double album, made up of 17 tracks, and there's a rumor that it'll be one disc of more balladish stuff and one of more uptempo songs. As long as it sells well, I am totally supportive of this idea. In terms of chart position, Anthony's ballads tend to do better than his faster songs, so if he needs to release ballads as his singles, I suppose I can put up with it as long as it means we get the poppier and more fun songs on the album. It's worth noting, though, that Anthony can do a very good ballad. Unfortunately (in my eyes), the type of ballad people seem to prefer him doing is a very classical one, like his first single "The Prayer" (a cover of the Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli song) and fourth single "Per Sempre" (another part-English, part-Italian classical-sounding ballad). He does sing those very well, but he is not a "popera" singer--or at least, he doesn't need to be. "Rain" is a great sort-of-balladish pop song, album tracks "When I Get There" and "When You Were My Girl" are good pop ballads, and many of the songs on the album (though not quite as many as I would like) and that he sang on Idol are not ballads, but fun uptempo numbers. This is purely personal taste, but I hope he manages to maintain or even improve on the balance the first album achieved--there were only two classical songs on it. It's just a shame that so many people associate him only with those types of songs; I think it's hurt his reputation. I don't really care about what the general media or public thinks, but I think a lot of people who love pop or music write him off because they think of him as being mainly a classical ballad singer. There are plenty of reasons to not like Anthony Callea--his music isn't to everyone's taste, and I can even understand that some people might not like his voice (though I love it)--but I think the reasons relied upon are often the wrong ones.

That said, I would love Anthony to do more uptempo music. He can clearly do it--look at his early performances on Idol (before his definitive moment, his performance of "The Prayer"), like "Ignition," "Carwash," and "Gimme Some Lovin'," or even a couple of his later performances, like "Hold The Line." Songs like "Hurts So Bad," "Lost In The Summer," and "Into Your Heart" are all really good mid-tempo to up-tempo numbers. Even more exciting, though, is the potential hinted at by some non-album tracks, including his cover of Lionel Richie's "Angel" and one of his B-sides, both of which are a little like "Into Your Heart" but even a little faster and more fun. As much as I like that direction, I wouldn't want a whole album of it, but a few more songs like that and a few less ballads on this next album would be welcome.

Anyhow, after this extended essay, I feel I should probably give you all something. I really want to get a chance to write about my favorite Anthony song, but I should probably save it for a little longer, until we get at least official confirmation about this November 6 release of his new single "Live For Love" (which sounds like a ballad, but I'm hoping it's a "Rain"-esque ballad and not a "The Prayer" one--once again, just personal preference). November 6 means we have about a month until it comes out, and less than three months until the album is released, so I have to spread out my remaining Anthony tracks a bit.

Anthony is the only Idol contestant whose every performance on Idol I've felt the need to seek out on mp3 (and I really adore some other Idol artists, so that's saying something). They make a really nice complement to his actual album, since they include some styles unlike anything on it.

Hold The Line--covers aren't usually "my thing" and I quite like Toto's original version of "Hold The Line." However, I far and away prefer Anthony's version. There's so much power in it--in the instrumentation, yes, but mainly in his voice. His performance is, if we could use a word that is generally reserved only for female singers, positively fierce.

Ooo, I feel like such a tease for making you all read this much and then only giving you one live performance. All right, here's one more song, but it's a ballad--please don't take it as the best of Anthony's work, or demonstrating the extent of his capabilities, or as typical of the only style he does, because he really does do multiple styles. That said, I like it a lot; even though it didn't jump out at me when I first the album, it's really grown on me.

When I Get There

To buy Anthony Callea's debut album, Anthony Callea, go here (physical).

Finally, in news tangentially related to Anthony, definitely go check out Digital Technique (if you haven't already), which has some songs by a Swedish former Idol contestant, Ola (who also released a version of Anthony's single "Rain"); they're all good, but definitely look at "Invincible," a really sweet little pop ballad.

Next up: I've managed to keep past raving about Anthony to a minimum, so hopefully that will carry over to the future; given the McFly precedent, though, I wouldn't count on it, but I'll try to space it out a bit more or mix it in with discussion of other artists. Maybe Jesse or Gregory tomorrow, finally.

(Not my picture--source, thanks!)

(OK, so I went back and counted, and I guess, if you want to include it as sort of classical, the album also has "Bridge Over Troubled Water," bringing the total to three; since it's at the end and I never really listen to it, I forgot about it, but that still doesn't detract from the quality of the other songs on the album. It's not a bad song, either, just not my style).


Paul said...

ooo another raving post about little ant - and another great pic. More good hair - and ! Being style conscious now i am a fashion writer - i have to say he pulls off the jeans/white shirt look very well. Most classy...i'm all for more pop ballads than classical ones

Poster Girl said...

Bring on the fashion reviews--I love 'em! Jesse McCartney is still waiting for your intervention ;)

daimn said...

Exciting news indeed! I'm looking forward to it.

Poster Girl said...

I am so excited! Incredibly nervous about this first single, though; even if I don't completely adore it at first, I'll probably come around to it, but I'm not sure as to how the general public will react. There's supposedly at least one song he's sung live that is really catchy (Runaway or some such title, I think), so hopefully that'll make the album.