Lee DeWyze has had a rough time of it since he won "American Idol" Season 9, earning the dubious dishonor of being the lowest-selling "Idol" winner ever and subsequently parting ways with his major label after releasing only one album, the critical and commercial disappointment Live It Up. But DON'T count Lee out just yet. With a new deal with good-sized indie Vanguard Records, the man seems artistically recharged.
Case in point: Lee's anthemic new single "Silver Lining," which is far and away THE best thing he's ever done.
The obvious pop-culture touchstone here is Lee's two-seasons-removed successor, Phillip Phillips, whose coronation song "Home" recently became the biggest-selling "Idol" single of all time. "Silver Lining" actually bears more sonic resemblance to Phillip's upbeat second single, the rousingly chanty "Gone, Gone, Gone," and of course it brings to mind current stomp-folk acts like Mumford & Sons and the Lumineers. It's the absolutely perfect direction for Lee--and though it's quite on-trend with what's going on in rock music right now, the sound feels natural, not like any sort of pandering or bandwagon-jumping. If only Live It Up had sounded like this...