William Hung

Hung for the Holidays

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Believe it or not, William Hung had more time to record his holiday album -- the oh so cleverly titled Hung for the Holidays -- than he did his full-fledged debut, Inspiration, which was kicked out in a matter of weeks while American Idol was in the midst of its third season. He and his producers -- executive producer Dee "Pitboss" Sonaram and producer Giuseppe D., who both need to be singled out by name, since blame has to be assigned -- could have used this time to create backing tracks that sounded a little fuller, since that would mean that Hung for the Holidays would have sounded at least like karaoke instead of a Casio set on automatic. This is the cheapest-sounding record in recent memory; it sounds as if it was recorded in less time that it takes to play. And the weirdest thing about it is that Hung has gotten better as a vocalist in the six months that separate Inspiration and Hung. Make no mistake, he ain't good, but he sings with more confidence and at least vaguely sings something resembling the melody. And that, of course, means it's not nearly as interesting or funny as Inspiration. There's nothing that comes close to his embarrassing, soaring wordless vocals on the coda of "I Believe I Can Fly" -- the only thing that elicits a chuckle is "Vixen" being called "Rixen" on "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," which isn't much. Even the "hidden bonus track" of "We Are the Champions" is bland, with the only thing funny about it being that Hung has a bad voice. Which means Hung for the Holidays is no present. After all, there's nothing worse than an intentional novelty record that isn't funny. Unless it's "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer." That's worse than Hung for the Holidays. But not by much.

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