From the Vault...


Various Artists
"American Idol Season 7: The Moments"

© RCA/19 Records

Year of Release: 2008

track listing
  • "Billie Jean"--
    David Cook
  • "Angels"--
    David Archuletta
  • "Yesterday"--
    Syesha Mercado
  • "Somehwere Over
    The Rainbow"--
    Jason Castro
  • "You've Got A Friend"--
    Brooke White
  • "Come Together"--
    Carly Smithson
  • "God Bless The USA"--
    Kristy Lee Cook
  • "It's All Wrong But
    It's All Right"--
    Michael John
  • "Alone"--
    Ramiele Malubay
  • "If Only For One Night"--
  • "You Can't Do That"--
    Amanda Overmyer
  • "I Saw Her
    Standing There"--
    David Hernandez
  • "Shout To The Lord"--
    Top 8 Finalists

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    Various Artists
    "American Idol Season 7: The Moments"

    Season 7 of American Idol was a great year, in 2008. I had been watching the show every year, since Season 2. And as previous seasons, there were compilation CDs of the Top contestants who made it into the Top 10, or a little more than 10. Season 7's winner was David Cook, and the runner up, was David Archuletta. "David vs. David" as they called it, these two singers definitely deserved the two top spots. David Cook's story in participating on the show was interesting -- His brother Adam had auditioned, and was sent home. He suggested to David to try out. David was mostly his brother's supporter, leading Adam to hopefully become the "next American Idol." (Adam Cook passed away of brain cancer, in 2009. He was 37.) David Cook continued to climb the American Idol to the top, and he would become the seventh winner, in the history of the TV show.

    But both David Cook and David Archuletta weren't the only talented singers from Season 7, from what I remembered... Brooke White was a very good singer, and Michael Johns. Johns was a soulful as it gets. Sad to say, Michael Johns passed away at the age of 35, in 2014, from dilated cardiomyopathy. Dilated cardiomyopathy, which inhibits the flow of blood to the body, and causes the heart to enlarge. A fatty liver was also contributed to Johns' death. Another singer from Season 7, was Jason Castro. He was the singer in which the infamous "Vote For The Worst" website at the time, were nominating, to win for the season. (Vote For The Worst would vote for the least or worst singer in the competition to try and win.) Amanda Overmyer was another singer, in which her looks and musical style was similar to that of Gretchen Wilson; a "rough and rugged" type of singer.

    All the songs on the Season 7 compilation are cover tunes, as many of them I do know of. But the most interesting cover song on this compilation, was by the winner, David Cook. His version of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" is way different than the original. It is performed in a much slower style, and way better. "Angels" by runner-up David Archuletta was a song not in my memory, as it was recorded by Robbie Williams. This song sounds much like a Christian song, as David Archuletta would to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christof Latter-day Saints in 2011, for two years. He would leave his career in music during this time, and return to music after his service.

    Syesha Mercado performs her version of The Beatles' "Yesterday." It's a nice version. She would end up in third place. Jason Castro performs the Judy Garland/Wizard of Oz classic, "Somehwere Over The Rainbow." Like David Cook, Castro's version is different, as it has a Latin-styled flavor. The song written by Carole King, and a well-known version by James Taylor, Brooke White performs "You've Got A Friend." White's version is great, better than Syesha Mercado's "Yesterday." Brooke White ended in firth place.

    Carly Smithson performs The Beatles' "Come Together." Her version more like the Aerosmith version, with her as the female third. She is definitely not a Steven Tyler; maybe this song was intended to be performed by a male vocalist. Carly Smithson ended in sixth place. Kristy Lee Cook performs the famous Lee Greenwood classic, "God Bless The USA." Kristy sings this song very well. Kristy Lee Cokk ended in seventh place.

    Michael Johns performs "It's All Wrong But It's All Right" -- another song which I was not familiar with. It was originally recorded by Dolly Parton. Michael's version is just pure soulful. Michael Johns ended in eigth place; he should have stayed longer. Ramiele Malubay performs Heart's "Alone." Her version is just ok, yet Carrie Underwood performed Heart songs way better. Ramiele Malubay ended in ninth place.

    Probably the best song from this compilation by a Season 7 Idol female contestant, is Chikezie, and her version of Luther Vandross' "If Only For One Night." Chikezie ended in tenth place. Two Beatle songs are next, as Amanda Overmyer's version of "You Can't Do That" is way different than the original, as her version is more of a harder rock version, than the original. Amanda Overmyer ended in eleventh place. The other Beatle song is performed by David Hernandez - "I Saw Her Standing There," His version is pretty good, and sounding more like the original. David Hernandez was the first contestant to be eliminated, ending in twelveth place. The last song is performed by the Top 8 Finalists, and their version of the Christian classic, "Shout To The Lord." The Top 8 Finalists: David Cook, David Archuletta, Syesha Mercado, Jason Castro, Brooke White, Carly Smithson, Kristy Lee Cook, and Michael Johns.

    There was a bit of controversy regarding Hernandez's elimination -- Vote For The Worst had reported that Hernandez had worked as a stripper in Phoenix, Arizona, called Dick's Cabaret. The club provided full nudity, and the strippers were performing for an all male (gay) clientele. Vote For The Worst also reported that various contestents had previously been signed to record contracts, prior to performing on American Idol: Carly Smithson (who had been supposedly signed to a contract by American Idol judge, Randy Jackson). Others were Kristy Lee Cook, Brooke White, and Michael Johns. David Cook had released an independent solo album and a follow-up album, yet he was never involved with a record label/contract.

    On a positive note, one of the changes in Season 7, was the inclusion of contestants playing musical instruments. Most of the contestants from the Top 12 released there own albums, some more than others. David Cook, David Archuletta, Amanda Overmyer, Michael Johns, Brooke White, Jason Castro, and Carly Smithson. Both David Cook and David Archuletta have released more than one album after American Idol.

    As for the remaining tracks, they are all highly recorded well. Converting the Punk Rock style into Rock (or even Country/ROckabilly), the sound creates a great "Punk Meets Rock." They all have their own Rock edged style. It's almo to mention, that what makes this "Punk Meets Rock" class, is the lead vocalist - Mile Ness. His Punk singing style can be compared to the Sex Pistols, with its roughness. It makes every track on Social Distortion worthwhile. His singing makes the album, matching the roughness of his singing style to the rough=styled Rock/Punk mix.

    An interesting fact: According to the research of the American Idol compilations for each season, it was mentioned that there was NO such compilation for Season 7. I had looked up the album, and Season 7: The Moments was the result. Like many Idol season compilations, many were released digitally (mp3s). iTunes began releasing the Idol compilations digitally, starting with Season 10. For Season 7, I can't really remember how I downloaded the mp3s -- whether from the iTunes website, or just researching each song for the compilation, from YouTube.

    American Idol returned to the airwaves on ABC in 2016. (Previously, they were aired on FOX.) Although I kinda gave up on the show after Season 10 (winner: Scotty McCreery), Seasons 11, 12 13, 14, I never really watched. Mostly by now, the singers just never really appealed to me. When the show returned to ABC, I tried watching the show, and again, the singers didn't appeal, although the new judges -- Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan have become excellent judges. Watching the judges were more entertaining, than watching the singers. And for some of the singers I did see, for the ones that I thought were appealing, they ended up going home. Is American Idol FIXED? I think so - I think they already know who is going to win, before they go through the whole eliminations. And for that, the singers who did win, probably would have had better competition from the others who did go home. Perfect example, was Chris Daughtry. It was an absolute shock when he went home early. Likewise, Jennifer Hudson. And for most of the contestants who ended up lower than the top two, they would have a better career than the actual winners. Daughtry was one of them. Another was Colton Dixon. I didn't watch the season he was on, but he did far better than the winner and runner-up combined from the season that he was on (Season 11).

    American Idol 7: The Moments definitely has the moments. Some songs are better than others, but David Cook's version of "Billie Jean" is the main highlight. David Cook has released three albums since winning Season 7. Likewise, Archuletta has his share of albums released also. The rest of the contestants on The Moments are good, and as mentioned, some better than others. American Idol released these kinds of compilations for each season. iTunes would release these compilations in later years. These compilations are great to enjoy, as you get to hear the Top 10 or more contestants. And also, researching the winners, runner-ups, and other contestants who would later record albums of their own, and continue to do so. Of course, the most famous winners are Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson. The other winners have had at least one album released, if not, more. But what is more interesting, in learning the other contestants successes, and having more success than that of the season's winners and runner-ups.

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