On Friday (Oct. 8), 19 Recordings/RCA debuted four tracks from "American Idol" Season Nine champ Lee DeWyze's new album, "Live It Up," which is scheduled for release on Nov. 16. Fans of DeWeezy will be happy to know that his gruff vocals are still intact, as is his love for the guitar -- but the showcased tracks also held a few surprises. Here's our impressions of the new songs:
1) "Live It Up"
The title track of the album will debut Oct. 13 on "On Air with Ryan Seacrest." DeWyze's vocals sound a bit like Jason Mraz on the song, which has the inspirational message that is usually attached to "Idol" winners' coronation single. (This past season, for the first time, the "Idol" victor released a cover song as their winning single - in DeWyze's case, it was U2's "Beautiful Day.")
2) "Beautiful Like You"
"Beautiful" starts out as a ballad, but builds to a big rock chorus. Fans of previous "Idol" winners David Cook and Chris Daughtry will love it. DeWyze was knocked for his limited vocal range during the competition, but this track shows that the album will smartly highlight what he can do well.
3) "Me and My Jealousy"
The track is the darkest of the four sampled, and relies more on keyboards and strings than DeWyze's other songs. Sample lyrics: They tell me I should just move on/easier said than done/the only thing keeping me company/is me and my jealousy.
4) "Dear Isabelle"
This is the most stripped-down, personal track on the album, with Chicago native DeWyze pining after an ex-girlfriend on the shores of Lake Michigan. Interestingly, the track brings to the forefront a question that "Idol" fans have wondered for years: yes, the contestants can play their own instruments - but what if they were judged on their own songs? DeWyze here makes a strong case here that adding that element to the show would make it a lot more compelling.