Recently by Brian Thomas

Review: Kris Allen - 'Thank You Camellia': Season 8 Champ Wins Again

Season 8 winner Kris Allen shares his vision on his sophomore album.
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Kris Allen shocked the American Idol world when he came from nowhere to defeat Adam Lambert in Season 8. His self-titled debut album went on to sell over 300,000 copies and Kris has garnered over 3.1 million digital downloads, the ninth most of any American Idol alumn. Kris now returns with his sophomore release, Thank You Camellia, on RCA Records. The title refers to a home he shared with his Arkansas friends while living in LA. Kris also co-wrote every song on the album. "Better With You" kicks off the album. It is much more pop than I expected, but the

'Idol' Alum Elliott Yamin Delivers Strongest Album Yet On 'Let's Get To What's Real'

Elliott takes control of his sound and delivers...
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Before I start this review, full disclosure is needed:  I was not a big fan of Elliott Yamin during his run on American Idol, and when I picked up his debut CD in 2007 I felt justified in not really being a fan of his. Fast forward five years and one skipped sophomore album, and I feel now is the time to see if Elliott can change my opinion of him. Let's Get To What's Real is the third album for Elliott and this time he decided to take more control. He brought in longtime collaborators Brett Nolan and Aaron Goldstein

Former 'Idol' Casey James' Doesn't Disappoint On Self-Titled Debut

American Idol Season 9 third place finisher comes out strong on his debut album
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In the world of American Idol, Casey James will not only always be known as the guy Kara Dioguardi asked to remove his shirt during auditions, but also probably one of the best musicians the contest has ever seen. Armed with his guitar, Casey wowed America not only with his bluesy voice but his ability to shred the axe. Every week he got better as the competition moved towards the finals before finally being eliminated just before the finals. Lee DeWyze would eventually win that year, but it was his runner-up, Crystal, and Casey that most people were waiting to

'Voice' Runner-Up Dia Frampton Finds Her Voice on 'Red'

Debut album from The Voice's season one runner up, Dia Frampton
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Her voice and it's unique sound are what made Dia Frampton a talent to be reckoned with on last years break out television show The Voice. With her trusty mentor Blake Shelton guiding her every step of the way, Dia broke out as the star of Team Shelton and made it to the finals of the innagural season. Dia would finish second to Javier Colon, but in many people's minds she was the star to come out of the group of four finalists. Her rocking rendition of Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down" is one of the highlights of the

Kellie Pickler - 100 Proof

Pickles returns with an old time country album
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She captured the hearts of America during season five of American Idol with her infectous smile and personality. America's good ole country girl has made a splash in country music since her debut album Small Town Girl came out in 2006. It went on to sell 877,000 copies, and along with her sophomore release, Kellie Pickler, Kellie has become the eighth highest grossing Idol contestant and she didn't even win the contest. Kellie's first two albums featured a more country-pop style in the vein of Shania Twain, Faith Hill, and Taylor Swift (her best friend). 100 Proof changes all of

Jack and White - Winter EP

Jack and White return with their second EP, Winter
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Jack and White return to the music scene with the release of their second EP Winter. Jack Matranga and Brooke White are doing things a little differently than most people these days. Instead of recording a new full length album every year or two, they have decided to release a new set of songs in EP format every 4-5 months. With the release of their first EP Gemini EP, only five months removed, the duo returns with four new tracks. The EP comes out at all major retailers on January 31st, but iTunes has it available for the first week at

Track-By-Track: Sebastian Bach - Kicking & Screaming

Bach returns to the metal scene with a scorching album of metal madness.
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When Skid Row was on top of the world, Sebastian Bach was the epitomy of a hair metal singer. His voice was the envy of the metal world. With that came an ego that eventually caused the band to split. Bach went off into obscurity for years it seemed, showing up on broadway, and every now and then making guest appearances at shows or on albums. In 2007, Bach unleashed his first full-length, studio solo album Angel Down. Four years later, Bach returns with his follow-up album Kicking & Screaming. Regardless of what you may have heard, Bach rocks out

Track-By-Track Breakdown of Chickenfoot 'III'

The modern super group returns with it's sophomore release.
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Chickenfoot blasted their way on to the music scene with their first album in 2009. The super group contained one half of Van Hagar in Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony teaming up with guitar god Joe Satriani and Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith. Nobody knew what to expect, and the band seemed like a fun side project for all involved. So here we are two years later and we have a second album from them in the form of Chickenfoot III. Following the lead of another super group, The Traveling Willburys, Chickenfoot skipped over the "II" in the album sequence.

Review: Jack and White - Gemini EP

The debut EP from Brooke White and Jack Matranga is out.
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Jack and White began as a writing project for Brooke White's follow up to High Hopes and Heartbreaks album from 2008, but during the sessions Brooke and collaborator, Jack Matranga, realized that the music they were writing really wasn't a Brooke White album. That is really how Jack and White came to be. Both Jack and Brooke agreed that they should keep writing and put something out together instead. The fruits of that labor is the Gemini EP which was just released via iTunes on August 23rd. Jack Matranga is a singer/songwriter best known as the guitarist for the indie

First Look: Jack and White - Gemini

Brooke White returns to the music scene with Jack Matranga in Jack and White
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With their debut EP scheduled for an August 30th release, Jack Matranga and Brooke White released the first single from their new project, Jack and White, called "Gemini".  Two years removed from Brooke's post-Idol debut, High Hopes and Heartbreak, "Gemini" picks up where she left off.  It's an up-tempo tune with a good vibe.  Brooke's vocals are solid as usual and the song has a catchy feel to it with nice keyboards, solid acoustic guitars.  The only downfall is the effects used on the vocals.  It sounds a bit amatuer, but I can easily overlook this because I find the

CD Review: David Cook - This Loud Morning

An uneven effort from the former American Idol winner...
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David Cook had me at hello... literally. I first thought he looked like a scrubby wannabe when he was introduced to us on American Idol in the winter of 2007, but after he put a new spin on the classic Lionele Richie song "Hello" I became a fan. Season 7 as a good year for Idol with contestants like Carly Smithson, Brooke White, Michael Johns, and David Cook. It is one of the most enjoyable seasons in the history of Idol, if you ask me. And when that nasal voiced, daddy's boy, David Archuleta made it into the finals against

Remembering Jani Lane: A True Rock Singer Gone Too Soon

A look back...
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I remember it like it was yesterday. Christmas morning and I unwrap my gift to find Warrant's Cherry Pie cassette tape in my hands. It was an exciting moment to say the least. The title track had been getting a lot of airplay recently and the song "Heaven" (not on that album) was one of my favorites on the radio. So when my dad saw the cover and decided that I wouldn't be allowed to have the cassette until he had listened to the content first to see if it was appropriate for my all of 12 years, I was

Review: Theory of a Deadman - The Truth Is...

Theory of a Deadman returns to the music stores with their fourth studio effort The Truth Is..
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Theory of a Deadman returns to the music stores with their fourth studio effort The Truth Is.... After hitting it big with Scars and Souvenirs, Tyler Connolly, Dave Brenner, Dean Back, and Joey Dandeneau return with a hard hitting album focused on classic Connolly themes: breakups, love, and anger. As Tyler put it recently, "When I write, I either want to kiss someone on the lips or punch them in the face. Anything in between is boring." The opening track is "Lowlife" and starts with a nice bass and drum intro to set the mood. The song embraces your inner

Easton Corbin: "I Can't Love You Back" - Easton Corbin

A touching song that hits home...
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As you can probably tell by reading my album reviews, I am a fan of many genres of music. My main genre tends to be hard rock/metal, but I enjoy music from pop, country, and every once in a while a good rap (but not very often). So as I finished up editing a project the other night, a friend sent me over a YouTube link for a song he really enjoyed called "I Can't Love You Back" by country singer Easton Corbin. At the time it was late at night and I was tired and ready for bed so

Review: Steel Magnolia - Steel Magnolia

Looking at the debut album from Can You Duet season two winners, Steel Magnolia
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When Joshua Scott Jones and Megan Linsey arrived at the audition for the CMT television series Can You Duet, neither of them had any idea they would be where they are today. With each performance they soared to the top of the competition. Joshua and Megan were not only a couple on screen, but off screen as well. You could see it when they performed, and you could feel it when they sang. The judges fell in love with them, and they took the crown for the second and final season of Can You Duet. They would go on to

Review: SIXX A.M. - This Is Gonna Hurt

It's touted as the "Long Awaited Follow-up To The Heroin Diaries," so how does it hold up?
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There is no doubt that founding member of Motley Crue, Nikki Sixx, is enjoying life these days. It seems like he has a new project going every day. From Brides of Destruction, to his relationship with Kat Von D, to his long-time band Motley Crue, there is always something going on with Nikki Sixx. Everywhere you turn you seem to be able to find him. In 2008, Nikki published his so-called diary from his years as a heroin addict called The Heroin Diaries and companioned it with a music CD from his newest project Sixx A.M. The CD and book

Review: The Grand Magnolia - The Grand Magnolias

He made it to the top 8 of season 10's American Idol. Now we look at what Paul McDonald did before America knew his name.
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He captured the hearts of millions of Americans as a contestant on season 10 of American Idol. With his raspy voice reminiscent of Rod Stewart or James Blunt, Paul McDonald sang his way into the top eight before being eliminated by the voters. His wacky sense of style always made him stand out in a crowd. From flowery suits to his messed up hair, Paul was unique. At times Paul seemed out of place, but he gave a nice touch on songs like Elton John's "Rocket Man" and Smokey Robinson's classic "Tracks of My Tears." His unique voice added to

Review: Michael Jackson - Michael

A look at the first posthumous release from the King of Pop.
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Whether you love him or hate him, think he's a bit weird, or think he got away with a crime, you have to admit that Michael Jackson made a huge mark on the music business.  His death in 2009 came as a shock to millions of people around the world and brought out some of the best and worst in people who feel passionate about Michael and his legacy.  Whatever your opinion of the man, it is the music that I would like to focus on here.  I grew up on many artists, but Michael Jackson was my favorite.  It

Review: Brooke White - High Hopes & Heartbreak

A look at Brooke White's post-Idle debut High Hopes & Heartbreak. Should you give it a chance or leave it alone?
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In 2008, America fell in love with Brooke White. She was a shy, humble girl from Arizona who came in with a soft sweet voice that made you melt every time she took the stage. Brooke finished sixth in Season 7 of American Idol after Neil Diamond week, and it took over a year before she finally released her debut album High Hopes & Heartbreak. The album sold 10,000 copies in it's first week of release and made it to #50 on the Billboard Top 200 list but to date she has only sold a small number of albums (by

Review: Crystal Bowersox - Farmer's Daughter

Taking a look at the American Idol Season Nine runner-up's debut album.
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She wowed us with her vocals, made us fall in love with her spirit, and was supposed to win it all. Crystal Bowersox was the front runner to win American Idol season nine from the start of the show, but she fell just a handful of votes short. A year after America fell in love with this single mom from Ohio, Crystal's debut album hit store shelves. Farmer's Daughter was released on December 14, 2010 by Jive Records.Bowersox was the diamond in a pile of coal from season nine. Every time she let loose those gritty vocals and hammered on

Review: Lee DeWyze - Live It Up

Debut from 'American Idol' Season 9 winner suffers from identity crisis...
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With American Idol set to go live in a couple of weeks, it seems like a good time to talk about the debut albums of last year's winner and runner up. Both the winner, Lee DeWyze, and the runner up, Crystal Bowersox, released their debut albums at the end of 2010. As of the end of January 2011, Bowersox has the edge on album sales but both albums are selling poorly. So, let's examine each album and see who comes out on top in terms of music and enjoyability. Since Lee DeWyze was the winner, it only makes sense that