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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

This album rocks!

This album offers such a great variety of mixed tempos, some pop rock, jazz, funky R&B, country, and classic ballads. And that voice, that phenonemal voice is front and center on all - fantastic production! It's amazing what this man can do when not forced to record cover songs! Very sophisticated and beautiful instrumentation - Clay and Kipper, you done good! It's rare to love every song on an album (there are usually a few that I skip), but don't think i'll be skipping any on this one! It's hard to pick favorites, but a few: "Falling" - this could be a hit on Top 40 radio - and I hope the remixers notice it and have some fun with it! "Sacrificial Love" - lovely ballad - and the lyrics relate to so many "Where I Draw the Line" - love the little country touch and the lyrics "Lover All Alone" - is and always will be one of the best songs Clay has ever written or performed - truly excellent

WOW! Worth the Wait!

The first single On My Way Here was written by OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder and it's a great start to a fantastic group of songs and the CD ends with a heartbreaker Lover All Alone--words by Clay, music by David Foster. On this CD you'll find pop, rock, Christian, jazz. Don't miss Everything I Don't Need, Falling, Ashes, Where I Draw the Line. the Real Me, As Long As We're Here, Something About Us, Sacrificial Love, Grace of God----uh---I guess that sums it up!

Amazing-uplifting-sensual - is that Clay Aiken? You bet!

Stellar! Clay Aiken has found his niche, his songbook for life is found here. This is one of those rare CDs you purchase and don't skip one single song. He is pure, rich, ever so powerful and yet reserved in just the right places. His falsetto is the stuff dreams are made of. Mr. Aiken, thank you. Your songs touch in all the right places with all the right notes.


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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