Blake Lewis’ Audio Day Dream released today

Blake Lewis’ debut album, A.D.D. (Audio Day Dream), which features songs in his new genre, will be released today. Earlier, Blake described the record as a “mix tape” featuring multiple styles of music.

On the record, Blake “worked with nearly a dozen producers and co-writers, among them David Hodges, Mike Elizondo, S*A*M* and Sluggo, Sean Hurley, BT, J.R. Rotem, Sam Watters and OneRepublic’s Ryan ‘Alias’ Tedder,” the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. Blake co-wrote 12 of the 13 songs, and tells the paper that one song, Gots to Get Her, is his original take on a classic. “I’m the first person in history to change the lyrics to ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz’ and make it my own song,” he said.

Critics aren’t impressed. Entertainment Weekly’s Chris Willman gives the record a C, and says “a lot of Lewis’ overproduced cuts keep him in a comfort zone where he can jump from midrange into a falsetto, bypassing too many pesky high note. … He’s aiming to be the hip-hop-slang-slinging sibling of his brother-in-beatboxing, Justin Timberlake. But he’s a pretty puppyish stud.”

Newsday’s Glenn Gamboa says “At his best, like with the infectious “My Hello,” Lewis is pure pop star,” but “those songs only point out how there’s not enough playfulness on the rest of” the album, on which Blake “sounds too tightly wound, like he’s more driven by a fear of failure than a quest for musical greatness.” And The Seattle Times’ Andrew Matson says the record “is 16 tracks (55 minutes) of energetic, bubblegum pop,” but it “doesn’t differentiate him from the herd of MTV mall-pop.”

Blake Lewis’ ‘Audio Day Dream’ is a wealth of styles [Seattle Post-Intelligencer]

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Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.