Oprah's Popstar Challenge

Oprah's Popstar Challenge

CD

Overview

Oprah's Pop Star Challenge presents 14 songs from the eight finalists in Oprah's response to American Idol, including four tracks from the competition's winner, Lashell Griffin. Pop Star Challenge was another savvy idea from a woman whose career has been virtually nothing but savvy moves; Oprah realized that not all of America's undiscovered singing talent is in its late teens or early twenties, and that a pop idol competition with more mature talent would certainly strike a chord with her audience. Based on Oprah's Pop Star Challenge, the results of the contest are both more and less impressive than American Idol's. Aside from the fact that knowing who the winner of the Pop Star Challenge is already is a little anticlimactic (American Idol's compilations are usually released in the middle of the competition when the winning slot is more or less up for grabs), the eight finalists presented here -- who range in age from 27 to 36 -- are more developed as vocalists, yet somehow these performances are less exciting than American Idol's. This is partly due to the lengthy, over-produced versions of contemporary pop standards that the finalists sing, which tend to compete for the spotlight: on Joe Herzog's "Your Song," the intrusive, overly busy arrangement steals his big moment away from him. Most of the other finalists fare better, but the overly mannered sound on Oprah's Pop Star Challenge still tends to rob the performances of excitement. Griffin, in particular, has a big but sweet voice that overcomes its surroundings, as demonstrated by her powerful but not too-showy renditions of "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" and "The Greatest Love of All." Her single "Free" and her version of "One Moment in Time" prove that she would work well as either an urban-pop singer or in a gospel vein. Other highlights include LaNesha Baca's "I Believe in You and Me," which showcases her light but still soulful-sounding pipes; Jackie Perkins' "Nobody's Supposed to Be Here," which reveals that she has one of the most traditionally "pop" voices in the competition; and Lorenzo Owens' "All in Love Is Fair," which suggests he could have a bright future as a quiet storm balladeer. And even though "Stand," an ensemble performance, is nearly as cheesy as anything on the American Idol shows or compilations, it does reaffirm that, voice for voice, Oprah's Pop Star Challenge does have just as much, if not more talent than its younger, prime-time inspiration.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/30/2004
Label: Sony
UPC: 0827969233023
catalogNumber: 92330

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Franne Golde   Keyboards
Kurt Clayton   fender rhodes
Paul Fox   String Pads
Kenny Hicks   Tenor Saxophone,Vocal Ad-Libs
Lamar Jones   Bass
Talley Sherwood   Background Vocals
Gerey Johnson   Guitar
Sarah Martin   Background Vocals
Mark Harris   Bass

Technical Credits

Chuck Jackson   Composer
Elton John   Composer
Leon Russell   Composer
Franne Golde   Composer
Kurt Clayton   Vocal Arrangements
Linda Creed   Composer
Paul Fox   drum programming
M. Gordon   Composer
Kenny Hicks   Vocal Arrangements,Vocal Producer
John Hurley   Composer
Steve "Silk" Hurley   Arranger,Producer,Engineer,Vocal Arrangements,MIDI Programming
Sandy Linzer   Composer
Michael Masser   Composer
Donnie McClurkin   Composer
Bernie Taupin   Composer
Harry Warren   Composer
Ronnie Wilkins   Composer
David Wolfert   Composer
Stevie Wonder   Composer
Montell Jordan   Composer
Craig Bauer   Producer,Engineer
Kenny Komisar   Executive Producer
Tom Nichols   Composer
Anders "Bag" Bagge   Composer
Jennifer Paige   Composer
Shep Crawford   Composer
Stephen Schwartz   Composer
Annagrey LaBasse   Liner Notes
John Christiana   Packaging Manager
Susanne Cerha   Art Direction
Peer Astrom   Composer
Jeff Burris   Engineer
Kasia Livingston   Composer
LaNesha Baca   Liner Notes
LaShell Griffin   Liner Notes
Goldie Gareza   Graphic Design

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