I just watched American Idol’s top 6 show and it’s the very first and most probably last show I’m going to watch of this season. The only reason I decided to tune in was because of Shania Twain. I love her music and I think she’s a terrific songwriter. As it turned out she’s also a pretty good mentor as she teaches the contestants to really connect with the emotion and story of the songs she wrote. Going by the judges’ opinions, Shania and the Idol wannabes did a good job overall. For me I didn’t think any of them did justice to Shania’s music except maybe for Lee Dewyze’s take on ‘You’re still the one’ , my favourite Shania tune. The gravelly quality to his voice gave the song a new edge and made it different enough to sound new.
I agree with Kara DioGuardi when she said that one of Shania’s strengths as a singer was the way she connected with her music. She feels her songs through and through – quite naturally enough one might say as she wrote them herself. After all if you can’t be emotionally invested in the songs that you write, then who else? This brings to mind singers like David who before his debut album didn’t write too much of his own material and had to do cover versions of songs that were already performed by other artistes. But David’s interpretation skills are what sets him apart from a whole host of young singers with no original material written for them. After watching the top 6 show of this season where the contestants were universally praised for their interpretation and connection to the songs, I respectfully insist that none of them can hold a candle to David’s performance during his top 6 week where he sang a beautiful version of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Think Of Me’. Even Sir Andrew himself was taken aback with David’s take on the song. He took a musical number written for a soprano and turned it into a gorgeous, pop ballad flushed with a tender yearning that gave the song that much more poignancy. With a clear, vulnerable tenor voice David weaved a tale of longing and pathos that till this day ranks it as one of his most stirring performances on Idol.
Do you feel the connection? I most certainly do.