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On My Way Here

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Album Review

Clay Aiken dragged his feet on his sophomore effort but took little time to deliver his third, On My Way Here. By the time this appeared in stores in May 2008, it had long been established that Clay had little to do with any styles or sound that could be pegged as "contemporary," carving out his own little world for his Claymates, but this didn't stop him from attempting a makeover on On My Way Here, moving him out of the freeze-dried karaoke of A Thousand Different Ways and into something that feels a little bit more modern, drafting in OneRepublic singer Ryan Tedder to pen the title track and even dipping into some stiff, strange funk on "Everything I Don't Need." These two cuts are the exception to the rule, as the rest of On My Way Here sounds as if it could have competed with Jon Secada's singles for space on adult contemporary airwaves in 1991. This is an entirely welcome development for Clay, as he sounds at ease here in a way he never did on A Thousand Different Ways, where he was covering so many hits it seemed as if he was still suck on American Idol's big stage. That's surely not the case here: no songs are familiar, most feel tailored to Aiken's strengths, and he even bears a writing credit on the closing "Lover All Alone." All the songs are either about love or are inspirational in nature (which isn't the same thing as being Christian music, as this most assuredly is not, despite titles like "Grace of God") and everything is given a glossy veneer that reflects whatever the listeners brings to the record; if they're a Claymate, they'll find the songs inspiring; if not, this all will sound like well-crafted calculation. This time around, it's certainly easier for the non-fans to appreciate the craft in the record or the range in Aiken's voice for the very reason that this album feels crafted, not slapped together like the last, and that's a development that's easy to admire. Still, On My Way Here is totally, completely for the fans, for the Claymates who love unconditionally, and for those listeners, this is the opposite of A Thousand Different Ways as it rewards their devotion instead of taking advantage of it.

Customer Reviews

I'm not a fan, but this album is undeniable (Better than five stars)

I didn't want to like this album because I'm not a fan, but when I heard the lyrics of On My Way Here I was captivated. In an industry that has promoted music with the depth of a bird bath it's so refreshing to hear music with clever lyrics to really good music. This is not 'flavor of the day' music but the kind that makes you want to hear it again and again. Loved it.

Clay Aiken On My Way Home

I am a casual fan of Idol and after hearing all the buzz about this cd I thought I would get it. I was very surprised at some of the tracks- Clay Aiken can really sing upbeat catchy pop songs (like Ashes and Falling) and Everything I Don't Need has a bluesy r&b vibe to it. Pretty good. Clay Aiken, of course, does a great job on ballads on this cd- both slower and midtempo. He does have a great voice- no denying that. It has to be the among the best pop cds released this year.


Yes, this album is awesome. Is that really a surprise, though? No. Although, there were a few surprises on the album, it sounds great and has a really eclectic mix of tunes. Ashes and Falling are awesome.


Born: November 30, 1978 in Raleigh, NC

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

As the second-place contestant on Fox television's second season of American Idol, vocalist Clay Aiken wowed television audiences with his Southern charm, sweet demeanor, and powerful tenor voice, all of which combined to make him a pop star (and, later, a fixture on Broadway). Originally, Aiken had planned to try out for the reality TV series The American Race, but went ahead and auditioned for the Idol competition to please an encouraging friend. Out of 7,000 hopefuls, the Charlotte, North Carolina...
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