American Idol Season 4 winner Bo Bice’s debut album, The Real Thing, hits stores today, and it’s streaming over at AOL Music. What’s that? Bo didn’t win Season 4? Well, he most certainly should have. (Oooh, I am so gonna be feeling the hateration from Carrie Underwood fans!)

Anyhow, I’ve been listening to it this morning with one ear (the other one was booked by the Golden Globes), and I hate to say it, folks, but after hearing the first seven or eight tracks, I’m troubled. Where’s the Southern-fried soul Bo served up during his Idol performances of “Remedy” and “For the Love of Money”? Most of the tracks sound like they’ve been focus-grouped by a conference room full of adult-contemporary radio execs. The Real Thing is a sexless, bloodless listen, and…oh no, I think I just heard him sing something about writing another chapter of his life, and ”driving down this lonely highway.” Sigh.

I better go listen to Breakaway or Free Yourself and cheer myself up. How about you?