By Michael Slezak
Updated August 04, 2006 at 11:06 PM EDT

I just ate a 2 oz. bag of Cheetos, and am currently experiencing dangerous levels of self-loathing.

In other cheese-related news, Clay Aiken has released a ballad-heavy track list for his long-awaited third disc, A Thousand Different Ways, due in stores Sept 19. (Don’t hate, Claymates, I didn’t say there was anything wrong with cheese. Per se.) The CD will contain 10 covers and four new songs (one co-written by Jon Bon Jovi!), and will, according to a press release from RCA, showcase ”a more relaxed style” for Clay, one that shows ”a different, sexier side.”


Anyhow, here’s how I’d classify Aiken’s song choices:

-Shamefully Delicious: Mr. Mister’s ”Broken Wings”; Foreigner’s ”I Want to Know What Love Is” (which always makes me think of Ellen DeGeneres’ Mr. Wrong)

-Just Plain Shameful: Bryan Adams’ ”Everything I Do (I Do It for You)”; Celine Dion’s ”Because You Loved Me”; Richard Marx’s ”Right Here Waiting” (Oceans apaaaaarrt… day after daaaay… No.)

-Totally Inspired: Dolly Parton’s ”Here You Come Again”

-Totally Tired: Harry Nilsson’s ”Without You” (Seriously? Who hasn’t covered this?)

-Right Artist, Wrong Song: Bad English’s ”When I See You Smile” (wouldn’t English lead singer John Waite’s ”Missing You” have been better?)

-Right Song for a Different Artist: Oh Clay, don’t you know Fantasia already owns Elton John’s ”Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word”?

-Meh: Paul Young’s ”Everytime You Go Away”

Okay, PopWatchers, Claymates, and those of you who sit at the divine intersection of those two groups, that’s my take on Clay’s material. Now release your inner Hasselbots and tell me how you really feel.