Friday, May 23, 2008

Clay Aiken's "On My Way Here" - Measuring The Gap Between the Critics and The Truth



Singer Clay Aiken talks with Kipper, Grammy-winning producer, while recording "On My Way Here"







I’ve been meaning to take a look at the histories of the musicians and technicians who contributed to Clay Aiken's wonderful new CD, "On My Way Here" since the credits were first available --- hey, I read movie credits, too, since I’ve been in them and I see the names of friends all of the time.

It took me two weeks, but as I Googled their names last night, I laughed --- and then I laughed harder.

The men performing with Clay in the "On My Way Here" video bear no resemblance to the Central Casting pop band in the “Invisible” video, as supplied by the director of that piece. These men have the look of people who have been around a while, and everything I could hear as I listened to the album revealed remarkable levels of musicianship. One of them, the guitarist, even looked a bit familiar to me, and I thought it was interesting that the pianist asked --- and was allowed --- to sing on the CD. I figured there was a story behind the names in the credits.

The CD reviews were so at odds with the evidence of my own ears. On song after song, supporting Clay’s extraordinary voice, interpretive skills and growing artistry, I could hear some especially fine musicianship and the same kind of top-flight production that earned Kipper and Sting a Grammy for "Brand New Day" as Best Pop Album. (The single named --- and singularly talented --- Kipper, Aiken's producer, has also worked with renowned jazz trumpeter Chris Botti, among other leading musicians.)

Kipper's interesting and innovative work is known within music circles, if not in the general public, but I was curious to learn about the artists playing in support of "On My Way Here." My tastes are eclectic, my collection is rather large and I've seen hundreds of live concerts, from pop to jazz to rock to blues to funk to soul to world beat... you get the idea. Listening to the CD, I heard inspired artistry and great professionalism, from the musicians to the engineering to the mix. But some of the reviews were odd, not criticizing Clay's peerless voice but everything that surrounded him, implying the CD wasn't worthwhile despite the evident vocal talent. That simply wasn't what I was hearing.

These are the men behind the “uninspired, stock music” --- as some of the critics would have it.

Keith Carlock – Drums

Keith has played and/or toured with Steely Dan, Sting, James Taylor, Donald Fagen, Walter Becker, Diana Ross, Faith Hill, The Blues Brothers Band, Leni Stern, David Johansen and the Harry Smiths, Richard Bona, Chris Botti, Wayne Krantz, Harry Belafonte, Oz Noy, Paula Abdul and Grover Washington, Jr, to name a few.
Keith was recently voted number 1 Pop drummer and number 3 Best All-Around in Modern Drummer's 2008 Readers Poll.


There's some interesting stuff at Keith's website and in this article from Drummer World Magazine.



Keith at the drums.














Freddie Washington – Bass:

Freddie joined Herbie Hancock’s band at age 19, and has played in sessions or on tour with Steely Dan, Michael Jackson, Al Jarreau, Aaron Neville, Lionel Richie, Anita Baker, B.B. King, Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Whitney Houston, Donald Fagen, The Crusaders, George Benson, Denise Williams, Johnny Mathis, Burt Bacharach, and Kenny Loggins.

He has a platinum record as the songwriter of Patrice Rushen’s smash hit, “Forget Me Nots.”

Here is Freddie's Bio and a great article on his work with Donald Fagen from Bass Player.



Freddie and his bass.











Jon Herington – Guitar:

Jon has played with Steely Dan for both recording and touring. Jon has also toured with Donald Fagen, Boz Scaggs, Bette Midler, Phoebe Snow, Madeleine Peyroux, saxophonist Bill Evans, the contemporary jazz superband Chroma, and jazz/blues organ great Jack McDuff.

Read Jon's Profile and his reviews at his website, and watch him featured on "My Old School" in this AOL video of Steely Dan.



Jon plays his guitar.













Jeff Young – Piano, Organ, Vocals:

Jeff has played with Steely Dan, Sting, Boz Scaggs, Jackson Browne, Shawn Colvin, Phoebe Snow, Michael McDonald, Curtis Stigers and many more. He appeared in the acclaimed Broadway musical “Gospel at Colonus.” Vonda Shepard once sang in his band, leading to Jeff being hired to play for several episodes of “Ally McBeal.”



Jeff on keyboards.














There's a connection between these four musicians.

The men on this CD are the longtime Steely Dan band, backing Donald Fagen and Walter Becker --- and not a single one of these “music critics” recognized them or their musicianship.

Fusing jazz, pop and blues, multiple Grammy-winners Steely Dan (Donald Fagen and Walter Becker) are one of the most acclaimed bands in music history. They are members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

This is the caliber of musician that Clay Aiken chose as his session men for "On My Way Here."

But assumptions are an interesting thing. Critic after critic, determined to dismiss any effort Clay put forward, wrote reviews with little or no bearing on the reality of the music on "On My Way Here" --- right down to trashing musicians they had praised in other reviews. According to multiple sources, Keith, Freddie, Jon and Jeff are considered among the best session men in the world --- unless they are playing with Clay Aiken, apparently.

And as for the “sound” of the album:

It was recorded and mixed by Nathaniel Kunkel.

Nathaniel’s work with Sheila Nicholls, The Crystal Method, Lyle Lovett, Graham Nash, James Taylor, and Sting, among others, “has earned him the reputation of being one of the foremost authorities on engineering in surround sound.

“Nathaniel’s mix work has garnered him industry acclaim and awards, including Grammy awards for his work with Lyle Lovett, B.B. King, The Trio (Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt and Dolly Parton), and comedian Robin Williams; Surround Music Awards for his work with Graham Nash, James Taylor and Insane Clown Posse; and an Emmy for his recent work with Sting.”

Nathaniel is the son of drummer Russell Kunkel, a longtime James Taylor sideman.

Here's a great article on his work with David Crosby and Graham Nash from Mix Online, "the world's leading magazine for the professional recording and sound production technology industry."

Read about his Studio Without Walls, and check out the artists Nathaniel has worked with.

Finally, Cameron Craig engineered the strings.

Cameron is a Grammy-winner who has worked with Duffy, The Hours, Suzanne Vega, Amy Winehouse, Tina Turner, Joe Strummer, Garbage and Blur, among many others.

Unfortunately, musician's websites are often out of date, so there's just one mention of their work with Clay. (I suppose RCA didn't think it was worthy of note in the press release for this CD.)

So it doesn’t matter what some critics say, because they clearly don’t have a clue. I know that Clay got the best in the business to work on this album, people with experience, artistry, awards and respect within the music industry, where it really counts.

Working with Kipper as producer and Jaymes Foster as executive producer, Clay Aiken got to work with the best --- and the results are evident on "On My Way Here." It’s only fitting, because Clay is one of the best, as well.

So don't believe the critics' dismissals --- hell, don't even believe my praise.

Listen for yourself.

Listen for yourself.

If you like what you've read, please go here and DIGG it.

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89 comments:

pandarose said...

Thank you for all the research. I knew what I was hearing was not what so many critics bashing the album were saying.

yaknelle said...

The research you did on the OMWH musicians was a labor of love and an immense amount of work. I salute the research and intelligence contained in your post. It succinctly highlights the ineptness of today's music writer. There are very few critics, for whatever reason, who are true critical listeners, and are willing to do the research necessary to write an intelligent review.

Yours would be an interesting rebuttal to some of these lightweight, nasty, and poorly executed reviews.

Anonymous said...

awesome blog. It is sad that many of the critics didn't do their homework and acknowledge the talent on the album, including Clay's Kipper and Jaymes.

Thanks for the education.

kellykellyk said...

Thanks for that information. Sounds like some of the best musicians around worked in this album. No wonder it sounds so good!

One point though. You mention that most of the musician's websites are not up to date and thus don't mention their work with Clay, but the news page of Keith Carlock's Website mention recording with Clay:

Quoting from Carlock's website:

Since the year began, Keith has been busy doing gigs with RUDDER, OZ NOY, recording with various artists including CLAY AIKEN who has a new CD released May 6th, and returned from Europe on a short tour with Chris Minh Doky and the Nomad All-Stars. Keith will be joining STEELY DAN for their upcoming summer tour! The tour dates are listed on the "tour dates" page, and as always, check steelydan.com for latest additions and updates!

Kim said...

Oh WOW!!!!! Thank you!! The musicians are well credentialed...and I love me some Steely Dan!

Anonymous said...

It looks like some awesomely talented and credentialed folks took part in the creation of this CD. Congratulations to all who participated in this endeavor. Well done YOU!

Corabeth said...

Musicians of this caliber don't just play on any old album. They know great stuff when they hear it, whether it be the vocalist, the songwriting, the arrangement, the whole package.

The critics who say the music could be better are the ones playing Guitar Hero in their underwear on Saturday nights, wishing they had just one more break when they were younger.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all this information. It's no wonder the music on the cd is so special, not to mention the voice.

liney23 said...

Thanks for all your work!!! How interesting that critics seem to want to slam Clay more than they want to notice the caliber of the work on this cd.

Best musicians around and all they can do is... it's Clay, so it must be subpar. What's up with that???

I LOVE this cd. My favorites are Forget I Ever Knew You (on Walmart only) and As Long As We're Here. And, they don't even come close to the greatest of Lover All Alone!

pax said...

Berk, methinks you just unmasked some very lazy and biased "music critics". Thanks for the laugh!

Heather said...

Thanks for the very thorough research. There's a ton of info there to look through. It appears that this is a high quality product with many of the best people in the industry working on it. I'm really happy to see that.

Again, thanks so much for compiling this "dossier"!!

Jo-Anne Lopez said...

The first time I put on a pair of headphones to listen to this album I knew it was exceptional. Every note, every sound effect, every breath was perfect. Now I know why. Thank you so much for finding and sharing this information. There are some throats down which I wish I could ram it. (Is that rude or just bad English?)

goldcoaster said...

Wow. I wonder what all these people think when their effort is dismissed as "canned music".

Anonymous said...

Makes you wonder what the critics are critiquing doesn't it. It's much easier to take potshots than to actually, ya know, listen to the music. Shame on them.

Anonymous said...

On My Way Here is a "musician's album." Maybe that's why the critics don't get it.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that wealth of information. I guess the music experts have gone to tabloid reviews too. No truth need apply, just make up the ugly remarks and laugh about how kewl you are.

If other people recorded these songs they would get radio play. Apparently, if others recorded these songs, they'd get respect, too.

Anonymous said...

It was interesing to read about the people behind the names in the liner notes. Clay Aiken had some top notch musicians playing with him on his new album. No wonder it sounds so fantastic.

Anonymous said...

Interesting information, thank you.

Debbie said...

This is what counts--that highly respected and reknowned musicians WANTED to work with Clay Aiken. He continues to build an extremely impressive resume!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the information. It really makes me wonder what the WTF music critics get paid for. Not for an honest,researched,unbiased, intellgent review, that's for sure. Great blog !!!

LDH said...

Great to have confirmation of what I have heard/seen on "On My Way Here". It truly is High Quality, from top to bottom. Not a weak link anywhere.

Anonymous said...

Well this explains the beauty that I hear in this CD. Listening to the critics, I had started to think I was crazy, but now I know its they who are crazy. Thank you so much for bringing this info forward.

billie said...

Great job with all the info...labor of love indeed, on your part and Clay's, Jaymes and Kipper. A big "well done" to all.

Cindy said...

WOW The critics sure didn't know.And they sure didn't listen nor did they read who all was involved with this.

As Always Berkely ROCKS with info

Denise said...

What a wonderful investigation into the credentials of the players for Clay Aiken's new CD. Having these facts to support the creation of the music shows the artistic growth of the singer and the dedication of the producers to put forward a product that is truly noteworthy.

Kudos to Kipper, Jaymes Foster and Clay Aiken. I will never tire of listening to this wonderful and eclectic music from my favorite artist!

Anonymous said...

It is nice to see that Clay continues to aline himself with quality when given the chance.

TarBabyJim said...

Nice read. Thank you.
Jim Baldwin
Spokane WA
My personal fan site:
LetHerIn dot org

d4m said...

Well, isn't this just the way of the world right now. Critics of all sorts simply haven't a clue and you have proven that most do little or no research. What I find extremely interesting is that it is the musicians and music which have been criticized on this CD, not the voice. What is most noteworthy and laughable are those critics who critiqued the electronic synthesization. Apaprently they never viewed the video & making of the CD in the studio. Most apparently lost their hearing ability before they lilstened. Top notch, award winning musicians. Not so top notch critics.

I absolutely love me some Steely Dan. No wonder I think this cd is a musical masterpiece.

Anonymous said...

When I first heard the snippets to this album I was very intrigued because they all sounded different. The longer snippets came and I was even more excited because I still loved them. When I got my hands on the album and gave it a first listen my first thought was....this album is sound, eclectic, interesting and very well produced. I cannot stop playing it, and the funny thing is, everyday I find something new that I had not noticed before either is Clay's voice or the instrumentation. I have not had an album for a long time that I like everything on it. Thanks for all of the information on all of the great musicians, producers and team that put this together.

Anonymous said...

Great blog and very interesting. Love Steely Dan! Love the sound of this album. Most of the "reviewers" out there are just idiots, and I often wonder if we were listening to the same CD, or if in fact they actually listened beyond the first 10 seconds.

Great research!

(pssst., teeny-tiny little typo in this paragraph:... little or no bearing on the reality of the music on "O My Way Here"....)

Anonymous said...

Whoa. I found this blog from a google on Steely Dan...I'm an old fan of theirs, don't know much about Clay Aiken, but if they, plus Sting's producer, thought enough of this guy to play behind him, I may need to check it out. These are heavy hitters. And critics are panning the cd? No surprise there, most critics don't listen, read, or think. Thanks for the info.

Vickie said...

Thanks for all the background info. I could tell from the OMWH video and the in-the-studio interviews that these guys were something special. What a thrill it must have been for Clay to work with so many giants, legends and experts in music!

It just goes to show that some people have their heads so far up their own asses, and the asses of certain elements of the recording industry, that they can't - or won't - recognize a diamond when they see/hear it. They write knee-jerk reactions to the name on the product, and the truth be damned.

Idiots.

cm said...

Interesting stuff...I've been seeing "slams" of the album, but it seems that is some predetermined script that they like to follow. However, I have seen some that have been fair and where the writer seems to have actually listened to the cd. Thanks for the info...will show to my wife as she's a big Steely Dan fan.

Anonymous said...

I was impressed reading about the caliber and experience of the musicians that worked on Clay Aiken's album. Fascinating read. Thank you for your thorough research. I enjoy learning about what goes on behind the scenes in the making of an album (or a movie for that matter). We get to hear the outcome on the CD, but I find the process of making the album almost as interesting.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the research. Who knew!

Anonymous said...

I get lost in the layers of this music as I listen...every note...every harmony...every unexpected musical turn. My brain then finds the layers at the most unexpected times and even without the album playing, I get lost all over again. "Good" music and spine shivers since May 6th. Thank you: Clay, Jaymes, Kipper, and all you delicious musicians. I now know why it is so difficult to listen to radio when such wonderful music can play over and over anytime I want. Critics....open your ears and your minds...

Anonymous said...

Yep, the best quality musicians for the best quality singer!

Clay deserves nothing less.

I am grateful you took the time to do the research.

A pox on all the idiot critics!

Anonymous said...

Who knew? Thanks for the info. I always loved Steely Dan and love this cd. Quality all around on this cd. Perhaps the critics have listen to so much trash that they no longer know a good cd when they hear it. Great job Clay, Kipper, Jaymes, and the wonderful musicians who worked on this cd.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this Blog. Great information. What a great group of musicians. Clay and these guys did a terrific job.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I just wish some of these guys, or the producer of this great CD, cared enough to speak up for Clay as you did.

It is a great CD. The only unfortunate thing is that Clay Aiken bias is keeping it from being heard.

Great research.

Anonymous said...

fantastic research.

Other than hearing Clay sing, I really enjoy listening to the music on Clay's On My Way Here. Lots of interesting, if sometimes subtle, variations. So I'm not surprised that we're hearing top-class musicians on the CD.

MizJulie said...

My #1 complaint with the reviews I've read? Not that they don't like Clay (he may not be their cup of tea), and not that they don't like the album (they don't have to like everything that I like)...but that they clearly didn't listen to it. You can tell by the types of comments they make that maybe, MAYBE, they listened to the first song, then clips of the others. They always seem to comment on the opening line of a song, or the opening guitar riff, but never anything beyond that.

Thank you so much for providing us with this information. (I knew some of those names sounded familiar!! And I'd wondered if Nate Kunkel was related to Russ, but kept forgetting to look him up!) Now I have more to say when I choose to comment on a review than simply pointing out that they were reviewing soundbites, and not songs.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for a great blog. I'm the type that loves all the extras on a DVD too! I never had a doubt that OMWH involved top quality songwriters, musicians and production. Reviewers have managed to insult every person involved with the evolution of this amazing CD. I don't think there is anything Clay could do to win most of them over, so I'm glad he's ignoring the lot and staying true to his own musical journey. I'm thrilled to hear he was surrounded by so many talented professionals. I applaud their work!

Anonymous said...

Ha....not surprised. The sound of the CD screams quality.

A pox on the critics...pffft.

Oh yes, we must remember, the critics raved about Ashlee Simpsons CD....so they must know what they are talking about....(insert rolling eyes emoticon)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for checking this out.
Interesting info:)

TLC said...

Very informative... much more so than reviews by 'critics' that can't tell the difference between a 'drum machine' and a talent such as Keith Carlock!

Quality always shines though, and lazy journalists will always miss the mark!

Anonymous said...

Wow .... this is quite interesting ... so critics/reviewers of Clay Aiken's new CD don't seem to realize that there is an actual band full of Grammy Award winning musicians playing for Clay & Kipper on this CD ???? .... thank goodness I don't ever listen to critics reviews ... they are so often wrong about movies, books & music.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this information. Just proves that the so called critics have no clue what they are doing.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I knew I was listening to something good. It is clear that many of the critics weren't actually listening, their minds were already made up.

Anonymous said...

I'd be interested to know if any of these musicians have recently recorded with a current artist and if so, what did the critics say about those CD's.

Halloweengirl said...

Wow, I knew I loved this album from the start, all of the different, changing musical nuances and the spine tingling voice of Clay aiken. Thanks so much for all of the info. and of course, I have always loved Steely Dan...who knew these fantastic musician from my past would be backing my favorite singer of today..

Do you think that award-winning Kipper is wondering why all of his hard work with Clay and the award winning musicians is being ignored by the critics and radio stations?

I can't stop listening to On My Way Here, every song is just wonderful. I do have my favorites, of course, but I am just mezmerized by the quality and talent so obvious in this work of art.

Thanks so much for all of your research for this blog, I appreciate it so much.

Anonymous said...

Clay said in an interview that the piano player, Jeff Young, asked if he could sing backup. So they said of course.

Anonymous said...

No lightweights worked on this album. This is a highly respected list of professionals in the music industry, and any musician, music lover would be proud to be included.
This album needs to be heard as it is a unique gift.Thank you Clay, Kipper,and Jaymes for assembling this group to create On My Way Here.

Anonymous said...

That explains why I'm enjoying the instrumental part of the music as well as the vocals with this album.

An example is the exquisite introduction to Sacrificial Love - I always hit the back button and listen to that three times before Clay even starts singing.

That is a very impressive array of musicians Clay has working with him! The Steely Dan link is very cool. I'm not surprised that none of the music critics picked up on it, after all, they are pretty much bottom of the music industry food chain.

For me, music critics are redundant. I'll listen to samples on iTunes and make up my own mind thank you very much! If I like something I like it - I don't care whether critics like it or not.

Pink Armchair said...

Wonderful, berkeley! I was so proud to see this here -- a comprehensive, informative, well-researched piece. Brava!

Anonymous said...

Interesting read,, thank you.

I however would disagree that working with Jaymes Foster would be considered "working with the BEST" but having worked with her myself in the past, I know her methods and I believe that is why Clay's material is somewhat of an issue.

But Kipper is a good guy and one of the best for sure, and he gathered up a few talented musicians. Many are good friends to me. ( and thanks for giving them a shout out with the links) I do believe Clay will find his own way. he has the chops and you can't deny that.

Have a Good one!

Ben G.

Anonymous said...

Clay Aiken's new CD shows off his great voice but it does not do so by sacrificing great music or musicians.

Unlike much of what is offered today, the music here isn't "canned" nor does it scream of a competition for attention with the singer it is supporting. The blend of voice and musical setting is absolutely seamless. Perhaps this is because the musicians are so talented and so experienced? Or maybe Kipper is a genius? Either way, this CD is something I have waited years for...and can't get enough.

Thank you for all of your research. It really helped me understand why I love this CD so much.

Anonymous said...

You know the only thing "canned" about this album is the reviews. You can tell that buzz words replace thought when a reviewer writes things that are patently untrue. Kudos to Clay, Kipper, and all the musicians on this album. And Kudos to Berkeley for an excellent piece of detective work!

Linda said...

Clay and Kipper amassed quite an impressive team for Clay's best work yet! The album is skillfully executed and deserves to be heard. Thanks for your research efforts berkeley. It was fun reading and getting nostalgic for Steely Dan.
Regarding the so-called music critics..."they wouldn't know a diamond if they held it in their hands." Pfffft.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff, and I love the CD!!

I would have loved to hear Clay give Steely Dan some well deserved props and to hear Clay discuss the experience and quality of the musicians who worked on this effort.

Seems that it wasn't just the critics who failed to recognize the band.

Nice to see that Kipper received got his props for his contribution.

Anonymous said...

I love this album! Now I know why. Great songs. Great voice. Great musicians. What more could anyone want? Too bad more people don't know how great this album really is.

Allegra said...

The more I read critical reviews, the less impressed I am with them. These days they are filled with opinion and personal bias rather than well thought-out constructive criticism.

Thanks for all the research on the wonderful musicans on this CD. With years of experience, I'm sure they know their stuff, and can recognize a true talent like Clay Aiken when they see it.

As for the comment that Clay was also derelict in his duty about giving props to Steely Dan, I think it's likely he didn't know. They were at the height of their popularity before he was born, and they don't exactly have the name recognition of Elvis. I kind of doubt he heard them on the radio. His parents listened to country and by the time he started on pop stations, I doubt they were played very much.

Linda said...

Bravo! Bravo!! The too-cool-for-school critics have been unmasked! Clearly they need to go back to school and learn much more about what they are reviewing.

I knew as I listened to this CD that the music behind the voice was exceptionial. A+voice and A+music and lyrics = one very outstanding album.

Anonymous said...

I knew this was a quality CD at first listen! When I read that Kipper was the producer it quickly became apparent that Aiken had snagged the best. Top notch producer, powerhouse musicians, and excellent vocals.

Andrew C.

dksfriend said...

Wow, I had no idea all of these musicians were on Clay's new CD - I loved Steely Dan "back in the day"! Thanks for this very interesting blog.

Anonymous said...

I just picked up this CD yesterday. Everything posted here is true. Clay's voice and the music by the Steely Dan musicians make for a high quality album. It's got a bit of an old school feel to it that I love. Thanks for the info.

Sherri said...

Wow, how cool is that?? The first concert I ever attended with my then boyfriend, future husband was Steely Dan. I've seen them many times since then! I love their sound, and it's quite distinctive. That being said, what a great match for Clay's voice, as I find his voice to be very distinctive as well! One of my favorite things to do with any cd I purchase is to listen to it all alone with my eyes closed and listen for all the subtle treasures I can find hidden within. And this cd is full of them! One "eyes-closed" listen was not nearly enough to capture them all! The expert craftmanship in all aspects of the cd is clearly evident and the result is, pure and simply, an audio delight.

Anonymous said...

Well, now this explains the video that was put out for "On My Way Here" He wanted to show all the great people that he worked with on this Marvelous cd. He really got some big hitters for this baby, and it really shows. Thanks Berkley for all the research you did.

Sharon said...

Thank you so much for uncovering the background of the musicians on this cd.

The cd is of the highest caliber, not only because of the fantastic voice of Clay Aiken, but also because of the real professional musicians involved in this. Top Notch!

As a long time Steely Dan fan, knowing that these musicians paired up with Clay Aiken, (who I do consider to be the best voice in music today, whether the critics like it or not), makes this cd even more spectacular.

If the critics would put their personal feelings aside and really listen to the songs, they would see that it is a winner. But the majority would rather just slam it because it's the easy way out.

Too bad for them. Great for those that love the cd. Kudos to Kipper, Jaymes Foster, all the talented musicians, and especially Clay Aiken for a masterpiece. It won't go unnoticed.

Anonymous said...

This is a very interesting read.Thank you so much for all your hard work to research this information.

All the talent involved in making this CD is reflected in the quality of the music we are enjoying.

Corabeth said...

Anonymous at 3:15 AM said

I would have loved to hear Clay give Steely Dan some well deserved props and to hear Clay discuss the experience and quality of the musicians who worked on this effort.

He did, in a video interview with WRAL he noted how great they were and how they had all become like family. In his Yahoo video, he made sure that they were all shown working on the song

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the interesting information. Bringing all that info together is an guit an impressive list of talent.

I would like this album to have the exposure it deserves.

The amount of talent and effort that went into the producing of the CD is truly amazing.

Anonymous said...

Wow .... what a lot of great info .... thanks. Very interesting info about the musicians on Clay's new CD .... Clay sounds great & so do they.

Anonymous said...

I never heard of Steely Dan but I love this CD. I will check them out.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting read. Thank you.

It appears that a lot of work and artistry went into this album. It may take time, but Aiken will slowly gain the respect and support he deserves in this "mess" called the music industry.

Aiken can do SO much with that voice, and I look forward to hearing more from him.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the fascinating info on the musicians etc on this album.
I had not heard of Steely Dan, but listened to the youtube you posted and other samples of their music and I LOVE them! No wonder Clay's cd sounds fantastic! I'm going to have to buy one of Steely Dan's albums too.......
Really Love Clay's "On My Way Here"..... especially Sacrificial Love, Everything I Don't Need, Something About Us, Where I Draw the LIne, Falling, and Grace of God!

The only reviewer I listen to is me!

Doug said...

I have come to the conclusion that music critics are as believeable as politicians. The ratings they give are often laughable, but really troubling. Do any of them have any music education, experience, background? Who hires them. This expose itself is an eyeopener. I just listened to the single, On My Way Home because of the information I read here. And because of both, I've been impressed enough to purchase the CD. Thank you for your efforts, there should be heads rolling and jobs lost -- it appears that you can do their jobs better than they can.

ivy said...

The insult-based reviews and lack of substance (read critical analysis) don't interest me. Today with songs available on the internet, you can check them out yourselve before deciding if you want to buy the CD. So the critics are no longer relevant and besides have nothing to offer as they aren't even a good read. For any artist, I will listen to the CDs myself on the internet then buy if I like the CD. And this is one that I like. Very much.

NewBird said...

Thanks for the interesting and informative blog. Great job!

Anonymous said...

The remarkable level of musical talent is clearly evident on this CD. Thanks for your effort to bring these seasoned musicians to the forefront. They were instrumental (no pun intended) in creating the sound of this CD. Kudos and congratualtions to them, Kipper and Clay for creating an album pleasing to my ears!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful article! Thank you for the proof of the first class musicians for a first class singer.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this blog. Wow I now know why the music on this CD is so good. I mean Clay's voice and artistry is fantastic. But the whole CD accompaniments are fabulous. I hope Clay continues to make CD's with such artists as these.

Anonymous said...

Thank You from the bottom of my ear canals, LOL. I also knew that what I was hearing was exceptional!!!! Critics BAAAA HUMBUG,,, dime a dozen.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Clay and all the wonderful musicians that made this CD so great. It is such a relief to hear REAL music and such a wonderful voice. The loud ear splitting music that is so prevalent today is annoying and to hear someone with such a beautiful voice is such a relief.
Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

I love Sting. I love the Sting/Kipper colaborative endeavor. I love Steely Dan.

What a great combination to have all these talented muscians together on Clay Aiken's new CD. How could it NOT be good?

Anonymous said...

Finally someone is writing about important things! I love Clay's voice and the new album, but he couldn't have done it all by himself! The cd is a result of many talents.
I'm really happy for Clay for finally being able to do "his" music with really talented people!
But the funny thing is that when I heard "Everything I Don't Need" for the first time, I heard some Steely Dan "stuff" there and I didn't know why :) When I finally got my cd, I understood...
I've been a Steely Dan fan for years and I'm a Clay fan too, so I couldn't be happier right now!
Unfortunately I live in a country where Clay isn't known... But I saw Steely Dan performing live last summer! Maybe one day I'll see Clay, too...

Anonymous said...

Great blog!! Thanks for all of the wonderful information.
I LOVE On My Way Here and each time I play it, I love it more. There are so many catchy songs, vocally and instrument-wise, that I find myself singing songs from it all day.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the research. Well done. I thought I recognized Freddy Washington -- one of the all-time great basists.

On My Way Here is a brilliant piece of work.

Judging by the musical knowledge of today's average music "critic"/paid-by-the-word blogger, they are an endangered species destined to be replaced in an outsourcing move to India.

Anonymous said...

I notice the jazz guitarist Oz Noy is also on the album credits.

Anyone know which song he plays on?