The Bottom Line
Fans buy these debut singles as keepsakes not usually because they really want to listen to them over and over. That music will, hopefully, arrive with the first album from a new American Idol winner. In Taylor Hicks' case, his sweet, pleasing growl of a voice nearly, but not quite, rescues a tremendously sappy power ballad. There are hints Hicks could be an artist with a bright future.
- Taylor Hicks' voice goes down easy
- The soulful growl nearly rescues "Do I Make You Proud"
- "Takin' It to the Streets" fits like a glove - merits an extra 1/2 star
- Yet another tremendously sappy American Idol debut single
- Cheesy, thin production on both tracks
- Bland, aimless production
- Pointless power ballad song
- Taylor Hicks' voice which is a pleasure to hear
Guide Review - Taylor Hicks - Do I Make You Proud
Later this week we will see whether the usual purchasing frenzy for the first single by a new American Idol winner will be enough to push the single to the top of the pop singles chart with little radio exposure. As usual, the lack of radio support is understandable given the quality of the record. "Do I Make You Proud," written by the Absolute production team (writers of songs recorded by such UK pop stars as Spice Girls, Boyzone, and Will Young), will win no awards. It fits comfortably in the long line of rather abysmal American Idol debut singles. However, Taylor Hicks' sweet, growly voice nearly makes it listenable. That is an accomplishment.
Will American Idol ever give its winners songs to sing that match the drawing power of that first single release? On "Do I Make You Proud," it isn't just the song that is the problem, the whole production sounds like it walked out of a cheesy 70's era variety show. I suppose that may be the point, and American Idol is aiming to stand beside Donny & Marie. However, pop music fans deserve better.
If you want to hear what Taylor Hicks can do with a song, listen to his version of the Doobie Brothers classic "Takin' It to the Streets," included on the CD single. Taylor Hicks follows closely to the original, but his voice is more than up to the task. Listening to the track, I want to hear him really cut loose on the song. I expect to hear that on his first album, and it will be worth waiting for.