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Bo Bice The Real Thing Review

December 23, 2005 12:03 AM by Joe Blackmon

The_real_thingBo Bice’s "The Real Thing" CD has now been out in stores for over a week and has been getting mixed reviews from critics.  E! Online called the CD “real dull,” while the Philadelphia Inquirer says it “ranks right behind Kelly Clarkson’s Breakaway as the best CD to date by an Idol alum.”  My advice to hard core Bo Bice fans is don’t even think about buying the CD.  Instead buy the Dual Disc.  The Dual Disc is worth the extra money a thousand times over.   

The CD has eleven songs, ten of which have a decidedly pop feel to them.  The pop nature is a big part of why some critics, who were probably expecting Southern Rock Bo, aren’t thrilled with the album.  However, Bo Bice has a very versatile singing style and is capable of pulling off songs in virtually any genre.  If critics would look past that this CD might not be the Southern Rock they were expecting, then they will find a very good Pop/Rock album.

The title song “The Real Thing” is one of those songs that grows on you more each time you listen to it.  It’s got a catchy tune that hangs in your memory.  It will probably be the song that gets the most mainstream radio airplay. 

Another catchy song is “You’re Everything,” and it’s actually my second favorite song from the CD.  The lyrics are interesting and flow smoothly, and Bo really gets into the song.  “You’re Everything” would make a great love song on a movie sound track.  I could see John Cusack playing this song for some girl that has broken up with him.  The song is strong enough that it would definitely succeed in winning the girl back for him. 

“U Make Me Better” and “Nothing Without You” are the two weakest songs on the CD in my opinion.  They aren’t bad songs, but they aren’t great songs either.  Fortunately, things improve quickly with “My World.” “My World” has the potential to become a popular concert song.  “Remember Me” is also a fairly good song, but it sounds like a lot of other songs out there, so it’s not one to remember.  “Hold On To Me” is catchy and like the title track I found that it hangs in the memory. 

“It’s My Life” also stood out as another one of my favorites from the CD.  I mean this as a compliment, but the song reminds me of something that you might hear as a theme song for a network sitcom.  By this I mean, the song tells a story, is inspirational, and can stand up to multiple listens without becoming irritating.  Basically, every thing that you find in your traditional TV show theme song is in this song.  The song also is probably a fairly good representation of Bo’s journey since becoming a household name on American Idol. 

“Willing to Try” is a good song, but again it sounds similar to a lot of other stuff already out there.  One reason that “Willing to Try” didn’t stick with me is that it had the misfortune of being the song preceding the hands down best song on the CD. 

Yes, Bo saves his best for the last track.  “Valley Of Angels,” which is written by Bo, is unlike any other song on the CD.  This song really shows Bo’s versatility as it has a gospel flavor to it.  In fact, RCA needs to make this song a single and send it to both gospel and country radio stations, where I’m betting it would get a ton of airplay. 

The Dual Disc contains three bonus songs written by Bo Bice.  All three songs are better than any of the songs on the CD (with the exception of “Valley of Angels” which is still my overall favorite).  Of the three bonus songs, “Sinner Without A Sin” is by far the best.  The song will probably become a signature concert song for Bo.  It’s kind of reminiscent of a really good Jimmy Buffet song.  “Whiskey, Women, & Time” has a Southern Rock/Country flair.  If “Sinner Without A Sin” is like a really good Jimmy Buffet song, “Whiskey, Women, & Time” is like a really good Travis Tritt song.  I can’t think of any other singer that “Cinnamon & Novocaine” reminds me of.  It is just a fun and unique Bo Bice original.  The video “A Day In The Life” is also exceptionally well done.  It is an absolute must watch for Bo Bice fans, and another reason that the Dual Disc is the way to go. 

Overall, I think Bo Bice delivered an excellent album for his first outing.  The one complaint I have about the CD is that it needs more original Bo Bice songs.  I know RCA is pouring a lot of money into promoting the CD so they probably felt they had to play it safe and bring in experienced, professional writers.  However, the three original Bo Bice songs on the Dual Disc outshine most of the songs on the CD.  Maybe, it was a good idea to play it safe on the debut album to ensure radio airplay, but I’m hoping on the next CD they turn Bo loose and let him sing all originals. 

Fans can listen to a track of "The Real Thing" by clicking on the following Fanscape link  http://www2.fanscape.com/bobice/audio/realthing_ram_hi.aspx

Reality TV Magazine is your source for American Idol news.  For other great American Idol news, please also check out SirLinksALot: American Idol or SirLinksALot:Bo Bice.

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25 Responses to “Bo Bice The Real Thing Review”

  1. tvfan Says:
    December 23rd, 2005 at 1:24 am

    Wow my thoughts exactly! Valley of Angels is my favorite, hands down. I almost didn’t play it the first time because I figured it was just some end of the album song that wasn’t gonna please me any more than the rest of the CD. Then when I was listening to it and not paying attention, I realized I was listening to something REALLY GOOD. I didn’t know it was written by Bo…no wonder it’s the best one!

  2. shannon Says:
    December 23rd, 2005 at 5:22 am

    Kudos for an excellent and accurate review. You hit the nail on the head, ninety percent of the reviews focused on the fact that the cd was not what they expected from Bo, rather than on what it was which is an excellent pop rock cd. While it’s true that Bo has oodles of potential and is incredibly versatile and probably does have the potential to be the next Bob Dylan, that was not going to happen on a rushed AI cd. Hardly any of those reviewers took the time to listen to the DD with Bo’s original songs.

  3. PMC Says:
    December 23rd, 2005 at 9:54 am

    A thousand times thank you for actually taking the time to review what IS on the CD, not what some critics felt SHOULD have been on the CD. And for having the good taste to applaud Bo’s own material as being among the strongest tracks. And please, please, please, RCA, get out Valley of Angels to the country or gospel stations. This is a major hit and most Bo fan polls pick this one as the best track on the CD.

  4. Jade Says:
    December 23rd, 2005 at 10:40 am

    Thanks for taking time to review each song and for the fair review of The Real Thing. Valley of Angels is my favorite song too. Next is U Make Me Better. I don’t think this CD sounds rushed and for Bo to be critized, in some other music critics reviews, for the title of this album, that was not his decision to make from what I’ve read.

  5. Darlene Smith Says:
    December 23rd, 2005 at 1:39 pm

    Thank you for this fair review. So many “critics” have the nerve to “review” the album based on a dislike for American Idol or prejudice regarding what they “thought” it would contain. Bo Bice, as he has stated more than once, loves many styles of music and tries to bring a variety to his audiences. As always, he puts his heart and soul into sharing music with us, making it an excellent album that will bring many hours of pleasure to music fans worldwide.

  6. PJ Says:
    December 23rd, 2005 at 1:50 pm

    Thank you for an excellent review, and for LISTENING to each and every track before commenting. I totally agree with your assessment. IMO Bo’s original songs on the DD far outshine the CD tracks, although several of those are more than air-worthy, and should bring him acclaim. Hopefully, people WILL opt to buy the DD and thus get the full Bo experience. Which is outstanding.

  7. donna lane Says:
    December 23rd, 2005 at 3:08 pm

    This album stinks like dogpoo on hot concrete. It’s not an excellent pop album, it’s about as generic as it gets. It should be titled “Processed Cheese.” If Bo is happy with this album, it just shows his lack of judgment. If this is the album he wanted, then he won’t last long because this is terrible.

  8. Venice Says:
    December 23rd, 2005 at 3:12 pm

    I can’t thank you enough for being the voice of reason. Yours is the only review I’ve read that tells the whole story. You are so correct in saying if critics would just look past what they were expecting from this album, they would see it for what it is. Bo has such a tremendous talent, he can make anything work, as he proves on this CD. Thank you also for being the only one to see the whole picture by reviewing the dual disc. Bo can be so proud that his songs stand out from the rest. I’m sure he had to make some tough decisions to get this album out there, and it’ll pay off in the end when he’s calling all the shots. This is just part of the journey. There is no way Bo Bice is going away any time soon!

  9. jo Says:
    December 23rd, 2005 at 5:18 pm

    Wow! That felt like reading the review I would write if I had any talent! Thank you for a fair, accurate, and complete review of the cd. If people put aside their own preconceived notions of what this cd should have been, then they would find a really solid debut cd. I couldn’t agree more with your assessment that the Bo originals outshine everything else on this album. He is incredibly talented and his original songs are spectacular. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the most balanced review I have read anywhere!

  10. sharon sullivan Says:
    December 23rd, 2005 at 6:11 pm

    This review is excellent on Bo’s new album. I like some others had to listen to the entire cd twice in order to appreciate them all. My favorite is Valley of Angels and the first two times I heard it I almost cried. I think there are people out there who can identify with Bo and finding inner peace. The rest of the album is very good. I like The Real Thing and Willing to Try also, but all are good. I bought the dd and one cd. I have played the regular cd so much that I probably have worn it out. All I can say is that I believe that Bo has a great future in the music business. I like others wish RCA would smarten up and do a single with Valley of Angels and The Real Thing. I could sell as well as the album.

  11. Kris Says:
    December 23rd, 2005 at 7:26 pm

    I think the CD is amazing, even though I too was expecting something more rock. I still love it and it’s one of the best pop-rock CD’s out there. The last two songs, Willing to Try and Valley of Angels are my favorite, and are quite amazing and remind me the most of BO…they should have been the two ballad-y songs on a rock album, but instead are now looked at as two songs on a pop-rock album. I think if all the songs were more southern rock ti was would be perfection, but I still love the CD and cannot wait for Bo’s next one, which will hopefully be 100% Bo.

    December 23rd, 2005 at 9:07 pm


  13. Monica Says:
    December 24th, 2005 at 1:00 am

    “If critics would look past that this CD might not be the Southern Rock they were expecting, then they will find a very good Pop/Rock album.”

    THANK YOU!!!!

  14. Anonymous Says:
    December 26th, 2005 at 11:24 am

    Clive Davis took the Bo out of Bo Bice. This is a great reason for the continued success of indie labels. The artist can maintain integrity.

  15. Sharon Says:
    December 26th, 2005 at 9:01 pm

    I have been trying to play the dvd side of The Real Thing but can only get through the actual 11 songs. Does anyone know how to get to the video part? I’m sure I am missing something very basic.

  16. Anonymous Says:
    December 27th, 2005 at 2:59 pm

    have been trying to play the dvd side of The Real Thing but can only get through the actual 11 songs. Does anyone know how to get to the video part? I’m sure I am missing something very basic.

    Posted by: Sharon | December 26, 2005

    You have to put in on the flip side in the dvd player. : )

  17. Melanie Says:
    December 28th, 2005 at 7:04 am

    I pretty much agree about Valley of Angels. It’s a great song. I hadn’t looked at who wrote which song yet, so I’m pleased to find out Bo actually wrote it. Cool. :)

  18. Bobbie Hutchcraft Says:
    December 29th, 2005 at 11:47 am

    Bo’s CD is fantastic, as I knew it would be. He is the Real Thing. I really like that song and also Valley of Angels, but there was not one that did not touch me in a special way. Way to go, Bo!

  19. mahnel Says:
    December 29th, 2005 at 4:56 pm

    the cd wasn’t good enough for me..not really a thing to listen to..

  20. mahnel Says:
    December 29th, 2005 at 4:59 pm

    the cd wasn’t good enough for me..its not really “a real thing” to listen to.. (very common…’m kinda disappointed)

  21. becky houston Says:
    December 30th, 2005 at 9:46 pm

    i just want Bo to know that i really liked his cd. I listen to it all the time I cant get enough of it. I rooted for Bo when he was on American Idol and really wanted him to win. I hope he will continue to do well, and can’t wait for his next cd. I love ya Bo. Good luck to you and your wife and the baby.

  22. Sherri Says:
    January 6th, 2006 at 1:42 pm

    Personally, I love the entire CD and the DVD. No, I’m not a teenybopper, quite the opposite. Anywho, there was a lot of heart put into the music and the cd. I think Bo is awesome. I also thing that people need to understand that for his first album, Bo doesn’t get as much of a say as to what songs he’ll do. Usually the first one or two albums is not the full style of the artist. After that, they have more say and can record their own music. I think the DVD side of it is a step in this direction.

    After all, Kelly Clarkson’s first CD wasn’t as good as her second one.

    Anywho – Love you Bo!!!!!

  23. wendi davis Says:
    February 21st, 2006 at 5:25 pm


  24. Tiberius Jones Says:
    February 22nd, 2006 at 5:00 pm

    As a 37 year old musician (guitarist, singer, songwriter) I thought Bo was the best Idol last year. I was looking forward to his album with some trepidation due to the fact that I expected a very generic pop offering typical of the Idol producers.

    I can say without a doubt, I was pleasantly surprised by what I heard.

    First of all, I believe any album needs at least three listenings to let it sink in before you make a judgement on it. Unlike most posters here, I actually looked in the sleeve contents for what songs, if any, were written by Bo himself. As a songwriter I wanted to know what kind of writing chops he has. I fully agree that Valley of Angels is the best song on the album…the fact that it is a Bo original bodes well for his future career. It features excellent lyrics and a very “hooky” chorus. I was even happy with his modest but heart-felt guitar solo on the track.

    I think the first 5 songs on the CD are all very strong, with Real Thing and My World being standouts.

    I can only hope that RCA allows his next album to feature mostly or entirely original Bo offerings because the man can definitely write a good song.

    Good job BO!!

  25. babes Says:
    March 17th, 2006 at 11:37 am

    Bo bice’s CD is definitely a good one.Really enjoyed all the songs! Cant wait for his next album!


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