December 20, 2007

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Blake Lewis, Audio Daydream
Arista Records, Dec. 4
American Idol-watching potato chip addicts love exploding their phone bills into smithereens through the act of repeatedly voting for mildly entertaining people they view as critical cogs in the cultural ecosystem. Not enough of them voted for Blake Lewis to get him past Jordin Sparks, most likely because Lewis scared the straights into thinking he’s going to break into their houses because he likes to beatbox like some sort of wild animal.

CBS Records used to use a team of 15-year-old girls to test incoming demos from bands the label was thinking of signing. If some Muffy didn’t like her assigned band within 15 seconds, the demo got thrown in the garbage. Blake Lewis might pass the 15-second test on style, but substance-wise his stuff is about as interesting as watching wood decompose. Only when he drops the coquettish Funky Bunch nonsense and Maroon 5 been-there-done-that does he make any impact, such as late in the game on the electropop sundry “1000 Miles” and, well, when he beatboxes a drum n bass rinseout on “Hate 2 Love Her.” “Gots To Get Her” may impress your great grandmother if she still remembers “Puttin’ On the Ritz.” CEric W. Saeger