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Blake Lewis: Audio Day Dream


Blake Lewis: Audio Day Dream

Label:Arista/j
Format:Album
Media:CD
Release Date:2007
Genre:Hip Hop/Rap

By Raymond Cummings | Posted 1/9/2008

We've got a fever, and the only thing that can cure our fever is more wickety-wack wegro Blake Lewis beatboxing. Yet the 2007 American Idol runner-up--whose televised performances were most notable for mouth-generated effects not endemic to the contest--denies us that cure on his debut, Audio Daydream. Oh, sure, it's ProTooled here and there: Bits and pieces are embedded in the mix, tacked on as outros, and there's the old-skool, complete-with-hypeman entirety of "Bshorty Grabs Mic!" But Bshorty and his producers take more of an '80s FM route than an '80s B-boy one, so Day Dream registers as a dutiful pop pastiche of an already overenshrined era that ended before Lewis even turned 10--a for-this-winter-only touchstone for tween girls everywhere.

The running theme, of course, is love: love to be, love gone bad, love gone sour but not gone, one-night love, and so on. The vocoder-infected, marginally funky "What'cha Got 2 Lose?" channels Michael Jackson, while the hyperactive, bleeping synths of "She's Makin' Me Lose It" frame a digitally distressed Prince falsetto. "Here's My Hello" handily out-Taylors Duran Duran; "Surrender" rips New Order and includes the unforgivable lyric "I just can't shake this feeling/ It's just like a bullet and it's killing, killing me." Lone rap guest Lupe Fiasco adds classy flavor to "Know My Name," a pop&B tart in which Lewis intimates that he's seeking to trade up for a better position in the entertainment industry pecking order: "You're someone that should know me/ Possibly drive me crazy/ In the pages and all over the magazine covers/ People gossip about you." Imperiously Timberlakian? Not yet, but anything's possible. Where there's love, there's hope.

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