GALACTICALLY GAY Blake's Dream Everyone recognizes that high-tech studio trickery can turn even paltry Britney Spears vocals into a hit record. You'll be glad to know it can also work wonders on someone with actual vocal talent. Blake Lewis, the runner-up to syrupy sweet Jordin Sparks in the sixth season of American Idol, made a name for himself remixing songs on that show and throwing a beatbox into songs that could have done much better without it. Truth told, the cringe-inducing slobberfest from the Idol days actually works at times with a recording studio backing it, turning the one-trick pony beatbox into a load-bearing mule on Audio Day Dream (out now).
Rather than amass a group of hit-makers like Pharrell, Danja (Spears's "Gimme More"), or Tricky Stewart (Rihanna's "Umbrella"), Lewis sticks to a couple producers, primarily Ryan Tedder, who gained semi-recognition by proclaiming himself a "MySpace phenomenon" and churning out occasionally danceable tunes for musical B-listers Jennifer Lopez, Natasha Bedingfield, and Ashley Tisdale.