“She was the one who didn’t win the X Factor in 2010, remember?” These are not words that will instil confidence in a music lover who ends up with Rebecca Ferguson’s new album in their hands. Those familiar with the dreary, lifeless ear-bashing often churned out by those who won, or failed to win, the ubiquitous talent show, will be forgiven for putting this record right back where they found it. This would be a bad decision, though. Against all odds, people’s champion Rebecca has achieved what so many before her have not: she has made an album that is enjoyable to listen to.
There are some catchy, sing-along-in-the-car songs. There are some slow, sing-to-yourself-Bridget-Jones-style songs. Some tracks are really great, while others are fairly mediocre. What stood out the most, though, is that none had me reaching for the skip button after 10 seconds. They’re all pretty good, if not really good. Ferguson’s voice is one that seems to polarise people: the internet is awash with people saying that it goes through them like nails on a chalkboard, yet those who think she sings like an angel (geddit?!?) include Adele and the late, great Amy Winehouse. My mother describes her singing as ‘like Adele’s, if Adele went a bit soft.’ All mention of nails and chalkboards aside, she can certainly carry a tune, and does so to great effect over ten songs about love, heartbreak, and everything in-between.
Crank up the volume: This album has taken permanent residence in my car, and I can’t help but turn up the stereo and sing as though my life depends on it when Nothing’s Real But Love, Glitter and Gold, Fairytale or Too Good To Lose come on.
Might give it a miss: As I said, one of the best things about this album is that none of the songs are bad. However, Fighting Suspicions and Teach Me How To Be Loved don’t pack the same punch as other songs.
5 out of 5 stars, Miss Ferguson. You were too good for the X Factor anyway.