"Live It Up"? Curling up on the couch and flipping between PBS and C-SPAN would be more exciting than living it up with the big-time debut from "American Idol" season nine winner Lee DeWyze. DeWyze triumphed..." />
Chicago Sun-Times
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CD review: Lee DeWyze, 'Live It Up'

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leedlive.jpg"Live It Up"? Curling up on the couch and flipping between PBS and C-SPAN would be more exciting than living it up with the big-time debut from "American Idol" season nine winner Lee DeWyze.

DeWyze triumphed as king of the dullards on what was roundly panned as "Idol's" dullest season. (Can't imagine Steven Tyler, set to debut as a judge on the 2011 season, ever giving this guy a pass.) On "Live It Up," he applies his perfectly pleasant singing voice -- a dead ringer for all that is occasionally good about Dave Matthews -- to a set of colorless tunes and remarkably hackneyed lyrics. Check the chorus of "Sweet Serendipity": "I'm always landing on my feet / in the knick of time / by the skin of my teeth." Or the title track: "One life to live / I'm gonna give it everything I've got." The Lee DeWyze Drinking Game, gulping a shot for every cliché, could induce alcohol poisoning by track five.

DeWyze, 24, used to sell paint in the 'burbs; for "Live It Up," he chose institutional beige. Of course, an "Idol" winner doesn't exactly make a lot of his or her own choices, and one could argue that DeWyze was programmed for blandness by the music machine's mass marketers. But this is DeWyze's third album -- "So I'm Told" (2007) and "Slumberland" (2010), his pre-"Idol" outings, are now more widely available -- and its lack of personality is not exactly a detour. These songs glide right by, imitating a half dozen other, better middle-of-the-road strummers (Jack Johnson on "It's Gotta Be Love," maybe fellow "Idol" winner David Cook on the one song with any teeth, "Me and My Jealousy"). It's superb background music -- just beware the conversation's lull.

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14 Comments

Dear Thomas -

Pardon me if I consider your review somewhat irritating. Of course your entitled to your opinion - I just don't happen to agree with it. I love the tone of his voice and think this album will do well. Time will tell. I wish him (and you) the best!

You can't be serious about this review? Have you even listened to the new album? Well since I noticed on Twitter you have 161 people following you and Lee DeWyze has over 56,000 then I come to the conclusion that a heck of alot more people want to follow his music then follow your reviews. Sorry, numbers don't lie. Good Luck though...just write with more impartiality and I am sure you can get better and more popular!

This is the greatest review ever! Love the paint analogies. I think a good indicator of how bad this will do is the fact that your review can only summon up two angry fans. No one can even remember this guys name. Worst selling winner ever!

Ha ha ha ha ha. A bland Idol makes a bland CD. So unpredictable!!!!

Will the Lee fans who aren't afraid to admit this album is mediocre please stand up?
-HERE!
Good. I know there's more of you out there...

I am a fan and I agree with many of the critic's reviews.
Lee, you're an artist. Persue excellence in your music and your career will survive past Idol.

(What I really meant to post)
Will the Lee fans who aren't afraid to admit this album is mediocre please stand up?
-HERE!
Good. I know there's more of you out there...

I am a fan and I agree with many of the critic's reviews--this is paper bag brown with no shades the growly or folkie Lee from Slumberland or So I'm Told. Any grit, soul or joy of the former albums is hidden under bleh lyrics and too-bright production.

Dear Isabelle, A Song About Love and Me and My Jealousy struggle to rise from the pack, but are buried in their over-production. With some spare coffee-house style production and tightened lyrics, these songs could have had some distinction from Mayer-Mrazville blandness.

What DeWyze needs is a mentor to help tighten his songwriting, and search his soul for deeper experiences to write about than young love and hanging in bars. I discern he wants a career with more than a cult following. But I fear that unless he steps up the game, interest in his music may sputter months from now.

If anything, his fans are loyal. We here in Mount Prospect and Arlington have got his back, but hopefully the reviews of Live it Up will stimulate him to develop a personality outside so many mellow rock guys "living it up" on the lite-fm dial.

You're an artist, DeWyze. Persue excellence, and your career will last well past AI9.

I can't believe this review! Obviously, you have no knowledge of good music nor the ability to write a proper review of an entertainer's performance. Did you even research this performer's background or listen to what he did pre-idol and during the show. He has grown so much as a singer and performer through the Idol experience which has given him the ability to put out an album which will soon be climbing the musical charts. You have insulted a performer who has a large fan base, and it is not just teeny boppers or soccer moms but a fan base of all ages. We love Lee DeWyze's music and although you are intitled to your opinions, as a columnist you should show some professionalism in your writing. I am suprised that the Chicago Sun-Times would allow this kind of review to be printed. I think you owe Lee DeWyze and his fans an apology!

Dave Matthews is great, this guy is boring. They don't sound anything alike, and I don't appreciate the snide insult to one of America's most loved performers (Dave).

his cd is amazing.end of story.

Thomas Conner is an idiot.

This review is unbelievable. No one can judge him by his first album. This album is one that has many restrictions on it by his label. Artist like Carrie Underwood and Daughtry are having amazing careers and I for one dont even remember Carrie's first cd that was produced after idol. And do you really think Lee's style can't change or his voice has grown since his first two albums. Lee is much better than people give him credit for.

i totally disagree with your substandard review. if we're rating people on artist ability you get a C- at best on your review of lee's live it up CD and that's generous. i LOVE live it up. i love sweet serendipity, me and my jealousy, beautiful like you, brooklyn bridge and his other songs too. lee is a true artist unlike alot of these pre-made synthetic artists out there now. he's got raw talent and soul, he's adorable, charming, humble and i really really like him and his songs. i bought his other albums too and like them. you need to sit down one night, get your ipod out, put your headphones on and truly listen to this and you'll really appreciate it. i'd love to know what makes people who review music think they always know what they're talking about and what gives you the power to make or break people's lives/careers. if we all got to give reviews on reviewers writing alot of you would be out of jobs... so you're lucky.

I am a huge Lee fan! I have listened to his music even before American Idol and I waited 6 months for this CD to come out and IT WAS NOT disappointing! The tone in his voice and the things he writes about are just beautiful! He is truly an artist! I could listen to this CD over and over again! For someone who probably hasn't ever listened to one of his songs shouldn't judge on anything! This is a great CD and perfect for those romantic dinner's with your better half! My husband even likes this CD and he is a country music listener!

You are so wrong on your judgment!

i agree i am a huge lee fan and this cd SUCKS he can do much better.

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This page contains a single entry by Thomas Conner published on November 15, 2010 11:30 AM.

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