By Chris Willman
September 22, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

A Thousand Different Ways

D

Clay Aiken’s floppy-banged cover makeover has him suddenly resembling High School Musical hottie Zac Efron. But there’s no such transformation in the contents, where he hurries along his own fossilization by sucking any remaining life out of ”Broken Wings,” ”Everything I Do (I Do It for You),” and other big ’80s ballads. A great mentor might do something with Aiken’s handsome, featureless voice, but A Thousand Different Ways‘ 11 sound-alike producers uniformly favor an aural morphine drip — suiting a singer who’s always emotive but only aspires to actual emotion.

A Thousand Different Ways

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