There are so many "American Idol" alums now after ten seasons (and soon to be eleven) that it is amazing that there aren't at least two or three albums released each month by the former contestants. On average, and given independent releases like that of Siobhan Magnus' (Season 9, sixth place) January offering, Moonbaby, that do not get much publicity, there probably are. And it doesn't hurt the average that months with multiple releases, like March and May in the current year, crop up as a matter of course. March saw three "Idol" releases. May will go two better.
And who better to get the month started than Carrie Underwood, the Season 4 winner and current leader among alums in albums sold in the U. S. (over 12.5 million units). Her fourth studio effort, Blown Away, dropped on May 1, and is expected to place high on the Billboard 200 (given that her two previous albums debuted at No. 1 on the chart). After doing several shows, including CBS' "The Late Show with David Letterman" and ABC's "Good Morning America," Underwood appeared on "American Idol" on their Top 5 results show.
On the same day and riding on the television ratings success of "Smash," the NBC network series about the production of a Broadway musical, Katharine McPhee saw several of her songs from the show released on a soundtrack album, The Music of Smash. Although technically not an "American Idol" alum album (much like David Archuleta's seasonal offering with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir last year), Season 5 runner-up McPhee sings on seven of the album's thirteen tracks (nine of the eighteen on the Deluxe edition).
Adam Lambert's much anticipated sophomore major release, Trespassing, will hit stores on May 15. Originally, scheduled for a March release, Lambert announced via Twitter that his producers had decided to add a few more songs to the album list and would release it in "Mapril," which turned out to be more May than April. Lambert will be attempting to capitalize on the success of his first single from Trespassing, "Better Than I Know Myself," which peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Adult Pop Songs chart. His first album, For Your Entertainment, sold nearly 850,000 copies in the U. S. and generated the Grammy-nominated "Whataya Want From Me?"
The guy who finished one spot higher than Lambert in 2009 to become winner of the eighth season of "American Idol," Kris Allen, will also drop his second major label release, Thank You Camellia, on May 22. A The Vision of Love - Remixes, an EP of six remixes of the first single -- gleaned from a remix contest held by Allen and company, and voted on by fans -- from the album, will go on sale on May 8. ("The Vision of Love" remix by Maisson and Dragen (Radio Edit) can also be found on the Walmart exclusive single.) A five-song acoustic EP accompanies the Fan Edition of Thank You Camellia and can be ordered on Allen's official website.
May will also see the release of the first album by Season 10's third-placer, Haley Reinhart. Listen Up! is scheduled for release the same day as Allen's. She'll be following in the wake of the successful releases of Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery, whose Clear As Day has sold over a million copies, runner-up Lauren Alaina, whose Wildflower has topped a quarter million in sales, and fourth-place finisher James Durbin's Memories of a Beautiful Disaster, which topped 109,000 in sales in April.
After a rather slow April, where only Season 5's Elliott Yamin released an album (Let's Get To What's Real), May sees things picking up in "Idol" territory. The new batch of sales contenders will join Season 1 winner Kelly Clarkson, McCreery, and Season 5's Daughtry on the Billboard 200 albums chart. It will see the most albums made available in a single month thus far in 2012. The most prior to May was seen in March, when Season 2's top duo, Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken released new albums, as did Season 9's Casey James.
The only other "American Idol" alumnus to release an album in 2012 thus far has been Kellie Pickler, who dropped her third set, 100 Proof, in January.
(photo credit: Keith Hinkle, Wikimedia Commons)