Former "American Idol" finalist Elise Testone dropped her first album Tuesday, giving her the distinction of being the second "Idol" alum to release a studio album in 2014. Entitled In This Life, the album features guest spots by fellow Season 11 finalist Erika Van Pelt and Grammy winner Darius Rucker.
"So excited to share the Album with you all!" she blogged on her website, EliseTestone.com, Feb. 10.
It has been nearly two years since America saw her grace the stage during Season 11, finishing sixth behind the likes of Jessica Sanchez and the ultimate winner, Phillip Phillips. As NorthJersey.com pointed out, her meteoric success was a culmination of years of hard work and the result of taking the advice of a few people to try out for "American Idol" in 2011. That audition led to national exposure on a week-to-week basis until she was voted off the show. A 46-city tour of "American Idol" finalists helped keep her name in circulation as well.
Her time on "American Idol" was highlighted by a daring rendition of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love," a rocking Top 9 performance that garnered her enough votes to get past Colton Dixon, who finished seventh for the season but would go on to become a Dove-nominated Contemporary Christian star in his own right.
In This Life contains ten songs, including the first single, the haunting ballad "I Will Not Break." As a ramp-up to the album's release, the video for "I Will Not Break" debuted last week. The collection is offered on Elise Testone's own independent label, Red Tambo Records and can be purchased via iTunes, Amazon, various other digital sites, and on the 30-year-old singer's website, EliseTestone.com.
The singer makes her home in Charleston, South Carolina, and honed her music skills in the southern city after graduating from Coastal Carolina University in 2005 with a degree in Music. She will celebrate the release of her her debut album with a release party on Feb. 13, a two-show event at the Charleston Music Hall and the Pour House.
Testone's release of In This Life will have plenty of "Idol" company in the coming weeks as other alumni of the show release new albums. As noted, hers was the second "American Idol" album released this year thus far. Season 2 winner Ruben Studdard released his sixth studio album, Unconditional Love, on Feb. 4. Season 13 winner Candice Glover is slated to drop her debut album, Music Speaks, on Feb. 18. Season 10's James Durbin is slated to offer his sophomore set, Celebrate, in April.