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    Matt Cardle

    Related Artists - Will Young Take That, JLS
    Related Genres - Pop And Dance

    Letters 6 ( 2011 )
    Starlight / Run for Your Life / All for Nothing / Pull Me Under / Amazing / Faithless / Beat of a Breaking Heart / Stars & Lovers / Letters / Reflections / Walking on Water / Slowly / When We Collide

    Matt Cardle won X-Factor in 2010 after releasing an album with a rock band called 'Seven Summers' in 2009. This kind of thing isn't really supposed to happen, X-Factor frowns upon contestants who have already released an album, but Matt as singer/guitarist in Seven Summers made himself eligible by ditching his band-mates and going solo, something of a massive personal risk. Matt himself has stated in recent interviews his X-Factor association is likely to stand against him in terms of winning critical approval and credibility from his musical peers. After selling nearly a million copies of 'When We Collide', appearing on the X-Factor tour and then needing to have an album ready to coincide with this years competition of the Simon Cowell produced talent show, Matt was short of time to put together 'Letters'. Cardle subsequently teamed up with Gary Barlow and various industry song-writing veterans and to his credit, has insisted he at least get the chance to co-write every song here - at a stroke retaining more control over his own music than nearly every other winner of a Simon Cowell reality show.

    I'm being fair on the guy, a guy whom I disliked throughout much of last years X-Factor. My choice was Rebecca Ferguson, even though from her wonderful 1st audition onwards she clearly lost something of herself as she was increasingly drawn into the mighty X-Factor treadmill and watered down as a result. Matt Cardle has since confessed he didn't like many of the songs he was given to sing during X-Factor and such an annoyance continues through to the current series, with the artists rarely allowed to be themselves. Against such a background, Cardle has much work to do to convince the music industry as well as the general public that he has more to offer than previous male winners of the show in particular, all of whom have died not even a slow death, rather fade dramatically from view as soon as they released a second single or debut album.

    The album 'Letters' itself? Well, it's adult-oriented-rock, a little latter day Take That, a little Snowpatrol, a little U2 or Coldplay on occasion. His vocals demonstrate range even though his singing voice isn't particularly distinctive. The first two songs pass by inoffensively like a room plastered in beige wallpaper. 'All For Nothing' demonstrates far better his vocal abilities, offering him the opportunity to reach those high-notes powerfully well. 'All Or Nothing', despite having no rough edges production wise at least musically leaves enough space for Cardle to occupy, which isn't always the case during this 'Letters' long-player. A sequence of mid-tempo to slow ballads occupies the bulk of the LP, something which needs to change if Cardle really does want to appeal to a wider audience and win over the appeal of a rock audience as well as a pop audience. Strings permeate every nook and cranny of the LP and the professionalism of it all renders much of the music as likeably bland. Still, compare 'When We Collide', his X-Factor winning song to much of the material here and you can already tell he's progressed both vocally and as an artist, e.g. his input was present here during the creative process. The title track could pass for a decent Coldplay album track and whilst such a prospect is unlikely to appeal to an average fan of Radiohead or PJ Harvey and receive gushing praise from the serious music press, it's at least something to ponder upon if Matt Cardle is truly serious in his bid to have a lasting career when the memories of his X-Factor days are long and gone.

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    this page last updated 16/10/11


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