Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I am at the crossroads again

The news about Anthony Callea's new single got me thinking about his second album again. I really want to do a complete review of it at some point, but for now--since who knows how long it will take me to do that--I thought I'd encourage people to go get the album--because it is worth it--by writing about one of the other songs on it. I've written about Anthony a lot before, and that's mainly because I see him as having a lot of potential. As a brief catch up for anyone who hasn't heard of him before, he took second on the second season of Australian Idol, but has gone on to have more commercial success than the winner, Casey Donovan. On the show, his definitive performance was Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion's "The Prayer," and when he released his cover of it as a single, it became a record best-seller. Unfortunately for me, the fact that single did so well (and granted, his performance on Idol was very good) has, I think, led to his record company or him thinking that the route to continued success is to keep up with songs like that--big, classical-esque ballads. Until the upcoming release of "Addicted To You" as a single, three of his five singles are basically in that vein; of the other two, one was a pop ballad called "Rain"--a very good ballad--and the other was a Latin-sounding mid-tempo called "Hurts So Bad." His most recent album, A New Chapter, sees him trying to follow the Kelly Clarkson route; in between the now-traditional classical-esque ballads are rocky pop songs that a few months have revealed to be pretty enjoyable, and I wouldn't mind him continuing to make some songs like those. Still, I hold out hope that in the future we'll see more uptempo dance-oriented tracks from him (though I'd even take more things like "Rain"); to me, songs like album track "Into Your Heart," b-side "Wanna Be The One," and his pre-Idol cover of Lionel Richie's "Angel" hint that he at least has an interest in songs like that, and show that he could do them well. None of those songs has quite allowed him to fulfill his potential yet, but they're all worth listening to if all you know of Anthony Callea are songs like "The Prayer," "Per Sempre," and "Live For Love."

Perfect Mistake--to me, this song sounds like what would happen if someone decided to make a rock-out pop song using violins instead of guitars (though it's definitely got its guitars, too). I'm not sure about the earnestness of that first line--"Do you run a red light sometimes?" is made to sound like a major confession--but there's something I find gripping about this song. Actually, I think I know what that thing (or the most important something) is: I love the part two-thirds in (the "falling down like an angel" section). It's around there that the song finally breaks loose and reaches its peak (and it's worth sticking around for). I really would have loved to hear more of that in the song, but the rest of it is still good.

I almost posted another song, but there were so many options that I wasn't really sure which to choose (there are some I'm dying to write about, but maybe I'll just incorporate that into the album review). I'll freely admit that there's about half of the album I don't listen to--those big classical ballads, though he does them well, just aren't my thing--but I think of it this way: even on a Darin album, which tend to be short, not all the tracks are keepers, so if A New Chapter gives you seven songs (the album is sixteen tracks, and I do listen to more than seven) you'll actually keep on your iPod, that's not bad. You can buy Anthony Callea's second album, A New Chapter, here (physical). His website also has some approximately one minute clips (albeit very low quality) of all the songs on the album; you can listen to those here (you'll have to click on "AC Album Preview").

Next up: maybe a German band.


Anonymous said...

The album is a real keeper...I am really impressed with Anthony's songwriting abilities, the lyrics are cut above the average 'pop' song.

The voice of course is superb :)

Poster Girl said...

Oh, people can say what they want about Anthony, but I don't know how anyone could ever question his voice! I absolutely adore it, and I stand by my earlier statement that he has my favorite voice in music at the moment. I just wish I was able to appreciate the big ballads more, because they show off his voice so well...I've tried, but I think I just have a general preference for faster songs. Still, the album's long enough that you're getting a good deal of what you want, whether you're a ballad lover or prefer up tempo stuff! It's definitely an album worth buying...I wonder if he'll ever try to break internationally? Maybe not with this album, but some day.

Renee said...

Hey, I have been reading your blogs lately about Anthony Callea (being a huge fan and all) and wondered if you were a member of his official forum? there's a fair few overseas members :D

Poster Girl said...

No, I'm not (though I did do some lurking around the time of his album release, when I was craving all the news I could get)...I'm a little bit leery of registering for things :) He deserves all the overseas members he can get, though!