No -- I'm certainly not advertising that Haley Reinhart's debut single "Free," should replace the ubiquitous pleasures of Carly Rae Jespen's brilliant "Call Me Maybe" as this years first summer jam (no need for me to expound about that song here) -- but it deserves plenty of merit as a breezy counter to the urban strings and bubblegum splash of Carly. I'm a American Idol apologist. Just look through reams of past posts and you'll see my quick odes to past contestants. This year was a struggle for the show and I'm tempted to never watch again (Jessica Sanchez wuz robbed), but last year, even though froggy Scott McCreary won due to the Red State vote, was full of outstanding performances. Ms. Reinhart came in third-place. She was portrayed as the bitchy villain, the one who really had all of the talent but was snubbed for her confidence (mistakenly perceived as attitude). Now, a full year later, she emerges with that same talent and some very astute handlers in her corner. "Free" is extremely hard to place. Above we see the stunning Reinhart vamping as vintage pin-up, lounging in the beach, and soaking in the sun. But "Free" is more set-piece, a bit Broadway, a bit Nelly Furtado, pure pop pomp with a twinkling piano adding faux-hokum as if she's inches from being the next Adele or Duffy (whatever happened to?). It's dramatic and mindless at the same time, as if she can hang with Kelly Clarkson and Arcade Fire at the same after-party. I'm not entirely convinced that Reinhart will succeed, as this is just as much an anomaly as one can find on the pop charts, but it definitely has potential and fits perfectly on that mixtape you're dying to make before the first road trip of the season. Poolside for miles.