The third album by AMERICAN IDOL alumni Clay Aiken betters his sophomore effort, A THOUSAND DIFFERENT WAYS, by playing to Aiken's strengths as a singer and performer as well as hanging together nicely overall. Where its predecessor made it sound as if he was casting around for inspiration (not least on that album's overload of cover songs), ON MY WAY HERE boasts original material that plants Aiken firmly, and comfortably, in adult-contemporary terrain.
Opener "On My Way Here," penned by One Republic's Ryan Tedder, is a poignant, piano-fueled ballad that speaks to how what we learn from our parents teaches us about love. The rest of the album has moments of rock ("Ashes") and light funk ("Everything I Don't Need"), but sticks mostly to smooth, heartfelt mid- or downtempo songs that showcase Aiken's expressive voice. The artist's legion of fans (known as "Claymates") will have much to love with this release.