My ears were so happy with tonight's familiar songs of the one, the only Carole King. My parents raised me on Carole King, James Taylor, and Carly Simon, among other greats. Their music is like sitting by the ocean--calming and comforting.
Tonight's mentor is also one of my favorite artists from the 1990s, Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds. To this day, I can still tell what songs are produced and/or written by Babyface.
With high expectations and seriously fantastic music, the idol contestants took to the stage.
Jacob, Oh No, Not My Baby: YES! This is the type of song I have wanted to hear from him! Like Jennifer said, there were some sharp spots, but his energy was great, the high notes he hits are incredible, and the scatting was groovy.
Lauren, Where You Lead: THERE WE GO! Lauren performed the heck out of this song--she brought a boy on stage to serenade, danced, pushed herself vocally, and it paid off! She was just adorable!
FIRST DUET: Haley & Casey singing I Feel The Earth Move--Honestly, I wasn't feeling it. Parts of the song were good, while others sounded off to my ear. Maybe I'm just spoiled to the original version--for me, it's one of those songs that is very difficult to redo. They gave it their best, though, no doubt. For their respective vibes, I would have loved to hear them give some attitude to It's Too Late.
Scotty, You've Got A Friend: Personally, I thought this was his best performance to date. Babyface suggested starting the song soft and tender--he was absolutely right on target. As Randy said, it was flawless. Many have been complaining that he hasn't shown enough range. Well, tonight he did. And if I may take a moment: To all of those angry at Scotty for making every song country--that's his genre, he does it well, so why change what works? There is NO question who this young man is as an artist.
James, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?: The beginning was beautiful, the middle rocked, and the end solidified his talent. Simply put, he is special.
SECOND DUET: Lauren & Scotty singing Up On The Roof. One thing is certain: these two country crooners compliment each other nicely in a duet. Lauren really sang her little heart out, and Scotty seemed extraordinarily comfortable channeling his inner Garth Brooks. Great song choice for these two!
Casey, Hi De Ho: Bluesy brother! LOVED the beginning--soft, a little tickling of the ivories--very smooth. Towards the middle, some would say it was too much growling-talk, and I can see their point. However, it was at that moment when one glaring realization flashed across my mind: This guy is unique...and what is music without a little unique?
Haley, Beautiful: I'm with Randy, the beginning didn't thrill me. The middle bored me a little. She really started hitting it towards the end. I'm not sure this was the right song for her style, to be honest. A little Jazzman or Smackwater Jack would have been really interesting with her voice.
THIRD DUET: James & Jacob singing I'm Into Something Good. And it was good. However, the song just didn't seem to suit them. For some strange reason, I wanted to hear their unique styles and mega-note hitting on Brother, Brother.
Overall, I thought it was a strong night, which could have been even stronger with a few tweaks in song choice. Carole King has such a wide-range of powerful, powerful songs--I wish they had explored those a bit more. Of course, this is coming from a Carole King fan, so, naturally, I'm a little picky.
Who was your favorite of the night?