A few months after dropping a YouTube cover of Rihanna’s Love on the Brain, AJ has finally dropped streaming/purchasing options across multiple platformsso that we can bask in the glory that is his voice when and how we want. Glory be to the music gods! 🙌
But what was he inspiration for this masterpiece and how do we get more of them? According to an interviewwith US Weekly, before he made the decision to venture into country music, he toyed with the idea of recording an album of cover songs. So, that made me think of all of the times I listened to a song and thought, “I bet AJ would slay this!” And this is how my dream tracklist for an AJ cover album was born!
Here are my picks for an album of cover songs, in no particular order (with artist name linked to the full song):
Love on the Brain, Rihanna– an obvious choice for obvious reason.
Incomplete, Sisqo– a soulful, raspy match made in Heaven.
Neon Love, Karmin– this one is probably not on your radar, but I adore Amy’s vocals on this track and I think AJ could do it justice.
Valerie, Amy Winehouse– you can already imagine him singing this, can’t you?
I’m a Mess, Anthony Hamilton– Mr. Hamilton, like AJ, has one of the most unmistakable voices in music. It was a tough call between this one and Charlene. (I’ll totally take both!)
6, 8, 12, Brian McKnight– Not sure how Brian McKnight/AJ McLean could sing this to someone and not turn them into a puddle. 🥺
Bleeding Love, Leona Lewis– hear me out… Jesse McCartney wrote this song and still performs it on tour; it totally works with male vocals.
Tyrone, Erykah Badu– a classic soul ballad from a queen that I added to my “AJ wishlist” when I saw Late Night Special cover it at a local event. (I would have otherwise overlooked this gem as a potential male cover.)
Not Gon’ Cry, Mary J. Blige– I’m imagining something super stripped down, showcasing his vocal range and gorgeous runs.
Freak Like Me, Adina Howard– I SO want to see him perform this live. 😍
I Am Here, Pink– upbeat, vulnerable, powerhouse anthem-type song that AJ could totally make his own.
I Can’t Make You Love Me, Tank– gives me “Try” vibes, which IMO is one of the Boys’ most underrated tracks where AJ’s vocals shine.
Wait For You, Elliott Yamin– Another powerful, raspy, recognizable male vocal that AJ would smash.
If you like this mix and want to give this hypothetical album a listen (while supporting these bad ass artists), here is the full playlist on Spotify.