Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Constantine Maroulis-Constantine (2007)


After showing the world a trio of the talented singers hailing from Denmark, I now would like to show off a fourth solo talent worth idolizing right here on my home American soil. Those of you who tuned into the fourth season of "American Idol" may remember the face and the voice of a Constantine Maroulis. Sixth place—not a bad place to finish when there are thousands of hopefuls wanting to achieve that illustrious title and guaranteed record deal. Yet if you turned off the TV dial for a while and, instead, tuned into the twelve-track album that bears his name, you'd suddenly see that the man is definitely "American Idol" superstar caliber. He made an excellent choice to take on a couple of familiar contemporary classics—ones I'd heard so many times on the soft rock radio airwaves long before his album release&mash;right off the bat: "Girl Like You" and "Several Thousand". The former is the Edwyn Collins hit from the 90's (its memorable words of 'all my life, all my life, I've been waiting for a girl like you' from the chorus always make for a feel-good moment) while the latter is the Jim Boggia-penned hit that was featured on the TV series "Men In Trees" (Constantine's bluesy rock rendition of it has a way of making me want to hum along to it and makes an already touching song feel even more meaningful). Classics performed to perfection—that's one thing I admire about a singer; versatility is something else I find to be just as admirable. He has a song for everyone to embrace on "Everybody Loves", the first of my top favorites because of the colorful lyrics—which paint the picture of reality that we're really all the same in that we're dreaming of that perfect life.....in some form or another,—plus the amazing vocal display that he demonstrates during the closeout moments; he sure had me marveling all the way up to the end! Then he kinda makes you laugh on the colorful, skippy break-up song, "Favorite T-Shirt". Charming but full of heartache at the same time, and I'll never forget the bit in the chorus about him taking back his"Purple Rain" record (I bet he owned a copy of Prince's CD in real life before he recorded this song!) along with his coveted piece of attire. I loved it whenever the true rockstar that I felt was in Constantine all along broke out—first on the gritty offering ,"Child, You're The Revolution", then on "Right To My Head" (and the words of the chorus 'and it goes right into my head' is sure to get stuck in your head before too long, just like it had done with me, courtesy of his amazing soaring vocal display again!) and the peppy rockin' dance jam that also finished in my top favorites, "I Thought It Was Something" (this one made me think about the KATRINA & THE WAVES hit, "Walking On Sunshine", and you'll hear why as soon as the music starts bangin' through your ears). Can't keep mentioning favorites here without honorable mention to the gem on this album that I favorited the most: "So Long". I'm always the sucker for these mellow acoustic guitar-driven pieces, but I must say that Constantine's emotional vocals on this one are off the chain.....so much so that, perhaps in a different place and time, he could've been crowned "American Idol" with it all by itself:

1. Girl Like You
2. Several Thousand
3. Everybody Loves
4. Child, You're The Revolution
5. Right To My Head
6. Favorite T-Shirt
7. Sister, Sister
8. Fading Into You
9. I Thought It Was Something
10. So Long
11. Heaven Help The Lonely
12. Midnight Radio

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