Voice lessons by 'Idol' judges hit sour notes

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

In the car with the CD player blasting, or in the shower while humming along to the radio, we've all thought for a fleeting moment that we could carry a decent tune.

"Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson Present Ultimate Voice Coach" taps into that hidden wish for stardom by presenting a series of vocal training exercises.

The good news is that the lessons are easy to follow along with, and may help you learn how to hold a note while properly controlling your breath. The bad news is this three-disc collection of DVD video footage and CD audio lessons is mind-numbingly boring and made on a basement-low budget.

Abdul and Jackson say hello and goodbye within minutes on the DVD introduction and quickly turn everything over to Gary Catona and Ron Anderson, billed as "voice coaches to the stars." Abdul and Jackson have done nothing more than milk a little mileage out of their "American Idol" fame by slapping their faces on the packaging. Sure, the word "idol" appears nowhere on the materials, but we get the picture.

Here's what you get. Static scenes with Catona and a singing student sitting in what appears to be a budget hotel room practicing making an "eeeeeeee" sound. Frankly, it looks a bit creepy.

I scanned forward, hoping to see things get a little jazzier, but that's about it.

If you can stay awake through the lessons, you'll be thrilling them at bingo night in no time. Otherwise, this is a pure dud.

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