THE NEW LOOK -- Claystruck captures three versions of Clay Aiken's new look in her clever cube design for A Thousand Different Ways.
Rave Reviews, Take 2!
Fans Log ATDW Excitement
With RCA orchestrating a well-organized media campaign for Clay Aiken's soon-to-be released CD, A Thousand Different Ways, his fans are generating excitement with an acknowledged marketing ace -- word of mouth.
This is not an album of covers. This is a vocal sculptor whose every musical nuance is an emotional original. I know these songs -- just as we all do -- but I found myself drawing into their nucleus as he sings .. .because he puts something there that is totally unknown. Then he builds on it, going places that singers just don't go. -- Calliek
Very few of us can describe with such exquisite beauty Calliek's word pictures of CA's vocals on this CD. However, armed with links/downloads of the Without You single and the 30-second snippets from the album's playlist at Sony, fans have reported remarkable reactions by friends, relatives, and associates with whom they have shared the previews.
Starting with an 8/18 mailbag comment by Cindilu2, whose graphic designs often decorate this journal, this overview features unexpected responses from a former RCA promo specialist, casual fans, as well as heightened fervor from the younger crowd. This blog's second foray into message board reports represents only a smidgen of the enthusiastic feedback fans have posted at Clayversity, Clayboard, and Clay Freedom.
Perhaps there will be more Not.Just.Us stories in the reader comments. Meanwhile, enjoy!
Clay Owns 'Without You'
Cindilu2: Harry Nilsson's version of Without You has long ranked high among my all-time favorite songs. I don't think I've ever made a mixed CD that didn't include it. It's in the most-played songs list of my not-an-iPod. And after hearing Clay's full version? I deleted Harry's from my player. I don't ever need to hear another singer perform this song. Like Solitaire before it, WY now belongs to Clay Aiken. Perfection!
Karma4Clay: My father worked for RCA Victor in promotion and management, so I wanted to pick his brain about Clay's promo. For the record, he has not been overly enthusiastic about Clay in the past, kind of an eye roller about my "hobby." So I IM'd him and asked about going for adds with a lead single and time frames in regard to drop dates.
He's not a very good typist; so after about two responses, he called me up. First, he says the time frame for promo varies greatly from artist to artist. For someone like Clay who can generate a lot of buzz easily, it's not that unusual to wait closer to drop date. Also, he said RCA would be crazy and stupid not to capitalize on Clay's popularity -- and that they are neither.
For kicks while we were on the phone, I gave him the link to Clay's MySpace so he could give WY a listen. At first, he wasn't that interested in hearing it until I told him it was cover of Harry Nilsson's WY. Next thing I know he's sputtering, "That was my record! I promoted that; I worked with Harry!" So NOW he's very interested in hearing Clay's version.
When he finished listening, he said "Wow! That's really good! [Imagine dazed tone of voice] It was a really good treatment of it. Not that different from Harry's arrangement but powerful. Really, really good." [Floored Daughter on other end of phone? Remember, this is the Eye Roller!]
Then he added, "Hey, times have changed since I was working; but I think this could be a HUGE record for Clay. Great production on it and there's a whole generation that's never heard the original."
My father bookmarked Clay's link and before we hung up, he asked when the drop date was again and told me to let him know about any appearances!
Diary of a Clayversion
JerseyGirl: I finally have a NJU story! My sister likes Clay, or at least she lets me go on and on about Clay. Anyway, I talked to her last [Friday] night and told her to go to ClayAiken.com give a listen to the new song. This is what I woke up to this morning:
EMAIL #1 (12:30 am): Well, he's sold two CDs here, maybe three. I loved it, and I'mgetting one for school and one for home, MAYBE a third for someone else, I have to listen to all the songs first. I'm going back for a second listen.
EMAIL #2 (1:30 am): I have got to go to bed!!!! Why did you tell me to listen? That is a great song. I went to the message board and was going to send you a note, but I didn't know if this is the one you post on. I'm going to go and have one, maybe two or three, more listens to this song that I always liked and turn in. I now wish I can take the computer to my room and listen over and over. Thanks a lot.
EMAIL #3 (1:45 am): Can you believe I now have Clay in my favorites???? Is he going to switch songs on this site??? One more listen then I have to go to bed.
suz4omc: I took the mp3 of the snippets over to a coworker's desk Tuesday, put it on her computer, and told her she needed to listen to them with her headphones. A few minutes later she walked into my office and said, "Looks like I will be buying my first Clay Aiken album!"
PHOTO INTERMISSION: Today's clickable interlude features graphics by these talented visual artists: Katt45 (1, 5); Amazing_CA (2); Claystruck (3); and Cindilu2 (4).
Teen Jaw-Dropping Reports
ClayRocksMySocks5230: I have let several people hear WY, and the most common reaction is that of jaws dropping like a ton of bricks to the ground.
One of my favorite comments came from my music teacher. She's a professional; and I value her opinion, musically and otherwise, and wanted to hear what she had to say. When she heard WY, she shook her head, dumbfounded, and said "Now THAT'S how you sing a song! Phenomenal!"
Another came from one of my friends who has always liked Clay and tolerated my 24/7 Clay talk. She responded “There’s just something about his voice that sends shivers down your spine. I can’t really explain it. But rarely have the hairs on the back of my neck stood up, like this. Play it again, please, again and again!”
My sister, who is meticulous with regards to music, says that doing some covers is a good move on Clay's part because he has -- time and time again -- proven that he can take any song, "Aikenize" it, and just sing it to pure perfection!
"Besides," she says, "Tthat's the trouble if you are a mad-talented singer like Clay [and this is me agreeing with him in thinking that they don't make songs like they used to!], it’s hard to get songs that will REALLY do that VOICE justice. If he can't find any new songs that are good enough to showcase that powerful instrument of his, then going to the past for songs that WILL is the thing to do. Why settle for second-best when you've got one of the most excellent set of pipes in music history?"
Hot New Look Makes Impact
thudsforclay: My daughter had several friends from high school over this week. One girl, who had never been to our house before, walked by my computer with the "library pic" as my screen saver. She asked my daughter, "Who is that hot, sexy guy?" When she was told "Clay Aiken," she said she really liked him. Of course, I informed her of the new CD and date of release. I think this CD will garner Clay many new younger fans.
xxclayzpricelessxx: I have the same picture as a magnet in my locker. My friend looked at it and asked, "Who's that?" I replied, "Clay, of course! She gave me this look like 'You gotta be kidding! That's CLAY?!?' HOTNESS + AMAZING VOICE = A HIT
LeenieIZ: I just got home from being a summer camp counselor in New Hampshire. I was in charge of a cabin of 14 girls between the ages of 12 and 14. I overheard a conversation they were having, and it was about Clay. I stepped in and asked if they liked him, and they said they thought his new look was REALLY HOT! They were pretty excited about the new CD!
xMakeMeFeel1tx: I don't know about America; but here in the UK, if you have an Emo-ish haircut, you're sure to go far. Clay's always been cute; it just takes time to realise it sometimes.
Clickable CD by ABeautifulMind
Here's to these exhilaratory celebrations of Clay Aiken's dynamic new look and incomparable vocal sculpting continuing on their global track!