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Album Stream: Blake Lewis, Audio Day Dream

Ever since I was pleasantly surprised by the first two tracks off American Idol runner-up Blake Lewis' debut album, I've been curious to check out the full album to see if it lives up to the insane energy of "Break Anotha." The album, Audio Day Dream, hits stores today, but if you can't wait to buy it — or just want to take a listen before committing to a purchase — the full album is streaming right now on AOL.

So far, the album is definitely meeting — if not exceeding — my expectations, despite its atrocious cover art (seriously, Blake, what were you thinking?). Like the two tracks that leaked early, especially "Know My Name," the album is a bit of a mess, with tons of loops and beats and tempos and musical styles packed into each track. But being boring would have been a much greater sin; the album shows the eclectic side of Blake that managed to peek out around the edges of his Idol performances. The verses of "Gots to Get Her" remind me of a hip-hoppy "Puttin' on the Ritz," and "Surrender" owes a lot to '80s power ballads — and that's just the start of the myriad influences here. Some of it's a little cheesy for my taste, but I can also hear a ton of songs that could (and probably should) be big hits.

One of my typical problems with Idol first albums is that they're too safe. This is anything but, and that makes me excited for what Blake could do long-term. Check out the album, then let me know: Are you on board with Lewis' Day Dream?

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