Kimberly Caldwell has certainly remained in the public eye since her stint on American Idol season 2 (yes, can you believe it, season TWO?), hosting shows like the TV Guide Channel's Reality Chat and the MTV talent show P. Diddy's Starmaker, along with some other hostessing and acting gigs. But oddly, she hasn't been in the spotlight much for the one skill that gained her fame in the first place: singing.
Although Kimberly put out two singles, "Fear Of Flying" and "Gave Yourself Away," on iTunes last year, and "Who Will You Run To" in 2006, she still has yet to release a full album, six long years after placing seventh on AI. But that is about to change. In spring 2010 she will at long last release her full-length debut, Without Regret, on Vanguard Records. And this afternoon at an intimate, living-room-style showcase at Hollywood's Bardot club, she previewed several quite vigorously rockin' songs from the album with her live band.
I must say, was extremely impressed by what I heard today. Her voice was stronger and bolder than I remember from her Idol days, and her songs were tough 'n' tender in that instantly clicky Kelly Clarkson-ish way (more like Kelly's misunderstood, Benatarian third album, My December, with a little bit of Allison Iraheta-esque swagger thrown in--all very good things, in my opinion).
Maybe it was best for Kimberly to wait until she was ready, until she had some really solid material to work with and had defined herself as an artist. Maybe that is why her album is titled Without Regret.
Check out three of Kimberly's performances below: the lead single "Mess Of You," the weepy breakup ballad "Say Love," and my personal favorite, the rollicking girls-night-out anthem "Going Going Gone"...the latter of which earned Kimberly a standing ovation today.
- Kimberly Caldwell