on 23 October 2003
A man who was written off by many as a geeky, slighty camp, Broadway belter seems an unlikely candidate for the hottest pop star to emerge from the US, but with Clay Aiken we have just that. As runner up in the second American Idol he certainly has a lot to prove with his debut album and with Measure of a Man he certainly measures up.
It's clear this is not simply a TV show puppet manipulated by producers who want a quick cash in on his 15 minutes. Here is an album put together with some of the best song writers around (Darren Hayes, Desmond Childs, Cathy Dennis), the best producers and a man who obviously knows who he is and what he wants - all creating a beautifully crafted pop album.
Bookended by a couple of uptempo pop rocks tracks ("Invisible" and "Touch") are songs that would be just as at home coming from the stables of Bon Jovi, Foreigner and Robbie Williams as from The Backstreet Boys - with nary a cover version in sight! Soaring power ballads like "The Way" and "Run To Me" are accompanied by passionate guitar angst of "I Will Carry You" and "I Survived You". "Shine" and "Perfect Day" seem furthest away from typical Pop idol fair with a retro sound that lands somewhere between The Beatles and Tears For Fears.
All delivered with a depth and feeling which seems at odds with Aiken's nerdy, clean cut looks. This is not a thin voiced pretty boy, nor is it a theatrical, vibrato-filled, camp crooner. Here is a voice that can growl and roar with desperation and intensity, then climb and fly with sweet clarity.
With the worlds longest liner notes Clay Aiken is certainly a man with a lot to be thankful for, but we too need to be grateful that a TV talent show can deliver such an original, exciting, gifted performer. Let's just hope the material can continue to match the quality of the voice.
on 27 October 2003
I bought Measure of A Man from amazon.com a few weeks back and it hasn't been out of the player since. Not a weak track on the album. 12 great songs showcasing the wide vocal range of Clay Aiken. Far from being a loser by finishing as runner up in American Idol he has now had a number one single and album.Well worthy of it's double platinum status in just 2 weeks out in the US. My favourite tracks are Shine and Measure of A Man. Proving Simon Cowell wrong when he said he couldn't see him being a star. I cannot wait till Clay releases tracks in the UK and the rest of the country can see what the US already know. A bona fide star in the making. And cute too!!!
on 17 October 2003
A thoroughly enjoyable CD that anyone would proudly add to their music collection. This CD shows the amazing range that Clay has. From the upbeat "INVISIBLE" to the smooth sounds of "THE WAY", you will want to have this CD on continuous repeat. "THE WAY" is my favourite on the CD. On first listen to that track, I thought it had an "Inglesias" type feel to it. After reading the liner notes, found out that infact Inglesias was one of the writers. Definetly worth all 5 stars. You will NOT be disappointed.
on 9 January 2006
Reality TV Shows such as Pop Idol, Fame Academy and, of late, X Factor, have been criticised for their lack of truly extraordinary artists. However, it should come as no surprise to listeners, that Clay Aiken, runner-up in the second American Idol series, has become the most popular reality star in American Media and went platinum with this very CD in its debut week.
Clay's voice has the most amazing power and range, superbly exemplified by the range of tracks on this album:
The opening track, Invisible, was released by one-hit-wonders D-Side in the UK some 3 years ago. It is an energetic, pop-style love song and is performed with gusto by Aiken, who opens his debut album with a wonderful display of vocal ability and power.
It is followed by the slower song "I will Carry You" which is one of the weaker numbers on the album. This perhaps makes the next song, The Way, stand out even more. It is a roaming love song, beautiful in both sound and lyrics, professing wonderful imagery and emotion.
No More Sad Songs, When You say you love me and Shine are all perhaps a little weaker than the majority of the album in that both sound and lyrics are comparatively less emotive and powerful. Whilst these songs are not reminiscent of the flops that One True Voice produced, they do not enable Aiken to excel, which is the greatest injustice.
By contrast, Measure of a Man, This is The Night and I survived You are incredible songs. Each are masterful in their lyrics, powerful in their execution and true masterpieces for the Aiken sound. In particular, Measure of a Man, which speaks of how the perfect man would treat the woman he loves. It is set against a wonderful, flowing soundtrack which is smooth, gentle and symptomatic of the perfect love-song.
The album concludes with the energetic Touch, which is a Latin-style pop track similar to the music of Ricky Martin, though thankfully less "cheesy".
To summarise, this is a beautiful album, with no tracks truly dissappointing, though some do not shine in the way that the likes of stand out tracks - The Way, Measure a Man and This Is The Night - do. It is a stunning album, showing the exceptional talents of this young man. It is perhaps best suited to listeners who enjoy the music of Westlife as a modern audience, but reminiscent of both Michael Ball and Peter Cetera to the older audience. Unlike many pop albums, this is one which does truly have diverse appeal. It is an album which fails to dissappoint and is to be recommened as one of the most truly superb finds in the reality TV series bonanza - Aiken is a true gem, incredibly talented and, having read his autobiography, well deserving of the plauidts he is now afforded.
A must have in every CD collection.
on 17 October 2003
His voice is amazing. He truly is a "Measure of A Man". I went to the store and bought this CD the day it came out. I was not disappointed at all. Almost every song on here is amazing, even the ones that I've heard on the radio too much, such as "This is the Night". There is one song that I particularly dislike though. "Run to Me" is the most annoying song on the whole CD. I skip it. He sounded a little drugged while singing that. Still,Clay better do big things. I honestly think he was the REAL American Idol.
on 5 May 2004
Usually when a new artist comes on the scene there is a sense of newness to their sound but Clay's debut album sounds like he's been singing for years. This album is only the start and there must only be good things to come.
I own both this album and the one released by Ruben Studdard and, with no disrespect to Ruben, I feel that the artist that will last in the music business is going to be Clay Aiken.
Well worth investing your hard earned in, if you are undecided as to which cd to buy, make it this one. The Measure Of A Man is an excellent cd.
What a voice!
on 30 June 2004
Having not seen or heard of Clay before (besides the fact I knew he was the AI winner) I was fairly dubious about his talents when my friend lent me his album.
However, I was impressed.
He has an absolutely amazing voice seeing that sends shivers down my spine and makes the hairs on the back of me neck stand on end. Besides this, for an reality TV album this is extremely good with a blend of good tunes.
My personal favourites have to be "Run to Me" He sings it with such power, and I particularly love the lyrics and the melody. I am also a fan of "Measure of a Man" a power ballad, about how you (oddly enough) measure a man. It's extremely poignant, and rather thought provoking (or maybe that's just me)
Then there's the uptempo "Invisible" which I think he realeased as a single (as I'm not a US citizen) I don't know, but I really like this. Admittedly, I wasn't instantly bowled over by it, but it certainly grew on me and I have come to the conclusion that it is one of the best on the album. "The Way" had a similar effect on me as "Invisible" It's not terrible, but it didnt' instantly shock me and make me think "amazing" but it has grown on me, and is a pretty decent track.
I do like "This is the Night" and "I Survived You" (yes, I do have to confess; I love ballads) "This is the Night" is a smooth track which is as the AI judges would say is 'safe' but is beautifully sung, with Clay's powerful voice, which is filled with such emotion. "I Survived You" is about (well, it's fairly self explanatory) It's about survivng a relationship that was built on lies and deceit. Am a big fan of that song.
The remaining songs, aren't particularly awful, but they're instantly forgettable, in my opinion. I don't like "Touch" and I dislike "Shine" even more. I usually skip them.
On the whole, this is a much enjoyable album, and it does help that Clay has a beautiful, controlled voice.
This is an overproduced album, in which much of the music tends to muffle the greatest instrument on this album, Clay Aiken's voice. Clay certainly has one of the best voices in show business today, something that his producers have neglected to recognize. Instead, they have chosen to have Clay's powerful voice take a back seat to all of the musical production bells and whistles at their disposal. When will they realize that this guy can really sing and that the public really wants to hear his voice?
While there are some decent songs on this album, such as the terrific "This is the Night", the Christian pop inspired "Measure of a Man", and the ubiquitous "Invisible", most of the songs are rather bland and eminently forgettable. With time, they, too, will become invisible. Moreover, I can't believe that the producers did not include "Bridge Over Troubled Water" on this cd, though it was included on the much more expensive, thirteen track, international release.
My daughter made me a cd compiled from the songs Clay Aiken sang on "American Idol" in his quest for the gold. That cd is so much better than this cd. You can really just be carried away by Clay's voice, which has the ability to give the listener goose bumps, as he is that good. I only hope that as Clay settles into his career, he will wrest control of his career and release an album of top quality music with his voice as it should be heard, unfettered and in control of the music, rather than the music being in control. I hope this with all my heart, as he is truly one of the great talents of today.
on 24 October 2003
This is a cd that will put you in a great mood when you play it. The songs are catchy with good arrangements and Clay's singing is awesome! You will find yourself singing along with Clay after only a couple of plays. I especially like "Invisible", "Measure of a Man", "I Survived You", "Run to Me", "Perfect Day", "Touch", "This is the Night", "Shine"...might as well say I love them all! I'm buying more copies of this cd to give as Christmas gifts and I know the recipients will love it too!
on 5 November 2003
I ordered Clay's CD before it had a title. I didn't know exactly what to expect, but I wasn't disappointed. Each track expresses a different component of his diversive vocal unit (gift). I've decided that "The Way" is my favorite. In this song his heartwrenching, pleading cry, filled my head, and confirmed what I already knew. His voice is beautiful, powerful, and he knows how to use it. What's scary is his singing is like a beckon. Even more frightening is he could get better. Beautiful love songs and songs which inspire hope instead of futility, and angst (not folk songs) can be found on MOAM. I keep Clay Aiken's album with me wherever I go, so I must admit, I have more than a few. Buy it. If you love it you'll be "hooked." If you get "hooked," then you'll understand why his fans love him.