The Bottom Line
Since "Bad Day" catapulted Daniel Powter to brief stardom, the position of exit song for American Idol has been coveted as a major launch for a promising pop career. Last year "Home" helped broaden Daughtry's base of rock fans to adult contemporary and young mainstream pop listeners. Now Ferras has his time in the spotlight to prove whether a high profile launch can make him a pop superstar.
- Reflective lyrics on the hazards of the search for fame
- Sweeping piano and strings based production
- Thin vocals
- Written by Ferras
- Produced by the Matrix
- Released January 2008 by Capitol Records
Guide Review - Ferras - Hollywood's Not America
"Hollywood's Not America" is a cautionary tale about the danger of losing oneself in the pursuit of fame. That is a sobering reminder for those who put all their coins on the table with American Idol in the hopes of pop music stardom. In this way, this year's "exit song" is potentially painfully relevant to the contestants we watch each week. Kudos to producers for seeking out a song so directly applicable to the show.
However, while the song is directly appropriate to American Idol and dreams of fabulous success, the lyrics only scratch the surface of the emotion and drama we see on the TV screen. The words, "You can take the heat will your heart go cold? They say acting’s just pretending, even that gets old," ultimately amounts to a rather vague warning and lacks in real grit addressing the fate of those who head to Hollywood in search of fame.
A key element of "Hollywood's Not America" that will help the song be remembered by pop fans is the pleasing, sweeping piano and string based production delivered by the Matrix production team. Ferras' voice is serviceable, but it is the musical backing that shines here.
"Hollywood's Not America" is likely to be a significant chart hit. It will bring the name of Ferras to the attention of millions of pop fans, but it will not keep him there for long. How he chooses to follow this song is what will set the tone for his hopes for longevity as a pop star. Let's hope for his sake he heeds the cautionary advice of his own breakthrough hit.