Though he had no vocal training and was 90 percent deaf in his right ear, Elliott Yamin vaulted to stardom after becoming a third-place finalist on American Idol. Yamin recently signed a publishing deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing, and the publisher is working with Yamin on the production and marketing of the album. His first single will be titled "Movin' On, and the album is scheduled to hit stores March 20 on Hickory Records. Yamin recently finished the nationwide American Idol Tour performing live in front of half a million fans. He's planning a solo tour for spring/summer 2007. Yamin is working with a number of producers on this project including Mike Mangini ( Joss Stone, King Britt, Baja Men); Josh Abraham (Limp Bizkit, Staind, 30 Seconds To Mars, Michelle Branch); Stargate (Beyonce, Neyo, Rhianna); DJ Lethal (House Of Pain, Sepultura), Raphael Saadiq (D'Angelo, Mary J Blige, Roots, Jill Scott); and Derek Bramble (David Bowie, Lalah Hathaway, Vanessa Williams).
Elliott Yamin's debut is so agreeable and well-executed it may well convert hardened R&B experts--the kind who'd normally distance themselves from a disc with a TV pedigree. With sincerity and a voice that vaults itself to places no talent-show contestant should be able to go, Yamin bares his soul here in a way that would do his hero, Donny Hathaway, proud. Tracks like "Take My Breath Away" and "You Are the One" find him twisting a wrench around love-stained lyrics; "I'm the Man" and "Find A Way" flow with hat-in-hand grace (and, in the case of the latter, a scat worthy of a vintage jazz stage); and opener "Movin' On" immortalizes the season five judges'-table words of Paula Abdul: Ellliott Yamin is "one funky white boy." As he proves with this five-star album, he is also among the most gifted artists ever to a turn a stint on the show into a recording career. --Tammy La Gorce