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Clay Aiken - A Thousand Different Ways Review

by Sherrill Fulghum

The new album by Raleigh, North Carolina's Clay Aiken has been long awaited with baited breath by his avid fans. The album is titled "A Thousand Different Ways" and is meant to acknowledge the thousand different ways a person can love. This is the third album for the red head who had planned to spend his life working with special needs children before American Idol thrust him into the arms of stardom.

The cover art work for "A Thousand Different Ways" sports a photograph of Aiken showing off his new hair style - the curls are gone. Inside the album is a collection of 14 songs most of which are cover songs chosen by Aiken himself as some of his favourites. Aiken had originally planned an album of original music, but admits that these days it is hard to find songs with good melodies. Aiken's voice lends itself well to producing some very good renditions of songs like Sir Elton's "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" and "Without You" by Nilson. While Aiken performs well on the cover tunes, the few original pieces that appear on the album are much better. Aiken lent his hand at helping to write some of the original songs.

The orchestration on the album is beautifully done even if the piano solos which give the songs their true beauty are conspicuously missing on "Right Here Waiting" and "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" from the songs. Overall the album is well done but is reminiscent of Aiken's American Idol days when all songs sounded fairly similar. To anyone but a true Clay Aiken fanatic "A Thousand Different Ways" is an album of karaoke elevator music.

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