'Different' Strokes

Season two "American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken tackles a host of enduring power ballads on his third album, "A Thousand Different Ways."

Season two "American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken tackles a host of enduring power ballads on his third album, "A Thousand Different Ways." Due this week via RCA, the set features 10 covers and four new songs penned by the likes of Jon Bon Jovi and Desmond Child, Andreas Carlsson, Jeremy Bose and Aldo Nova.

"A Thousand Different Ways" is Aiken's first release since his 2004 holiday album, "Merry Christmas with Love." His debut album, "Measure of a Man," debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 and has sold more than 2.8 million units in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The new album includes Aiken's takes on Richard Marx's "Right Here Waiting," Bryan Adams' "Everything I Do (I Do It for You)" and Foreigner's "I Want to Know What Love Is," with guest vocals by Suzie McNeil. The original tracks are "Lonely No More," "These Open Arms" (penned by Bon Jovi and Child), "Everything I Have," and "A Thousand Days."

"When we first embarked on making an album, my executive producer Jaymes Foster and I started out with one or two covers, then we had three," Aiken says of the material. "We slowly discovered that it's harder these days to come by songs that are as superb as the songs that I grew up on."