On My Way Here
by Clay Aiken, pop (2008)
RCA, $18.97, ASIN B00130973W

On My Way Here is indeed a long journey in the making for Clay Aiken. Many American Idol contestants have come and gone since he and Ruben Studdard duked it out in the second season, but I have to admit, as much as I have made my fair share of jokes about him, his voice is still one of the best I've come across on the show. It is a pleasant surprise, therefore, for me to realize how polished and entertaining this one is.

The title track, for example, is a lush and atmospheric song with strings and all coming together with Mr Aiken's smooth tenor to create a tune that I can easily imagine slow dancing to. In comparison, the second track Ashes is a more stormy track that comes with a fabulous chorus. It is, simply, a perfect pop song to sing along and just wave my hands along like I don't give a bloody damn. The rest of the CD sees Mr Aiken rocking it out in more uptempo songs when he's not slowing things down like a polished romantic crooner seducing lovers into taking the floor and slow dancing to his songs.

Often On My Way Here can get cheesy, but it's a good kind of cheese where I am concerned. For example, the track Lover All Alone could have easily become something really unbearably schmaltzy, but Mr Aiken's sensitive vocals make listening to that song a most enjoyable experience. I get chills, the good kind.

Indeed, I am very surprised by how much I enjoy On My Way Here. I think he's finally arrived at last, so here you go, Mr Aiken, my sincere two thumbs up. Oh, and welcome.

Rating: 88

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