Diana Vickers – Once – Single & Video Review

A brief history of Diana Vickers for the uninitiated – she was a contestant on 2008’s X Factor, and a front-runner too, until she took laryngitis and her fortunes on the show seemed to slip. She got voted off, despite having built a massive fanbase around her breathy vocal style and barefoot stage performances.

Even though the nation gasped in horror at the suggestion she might be dating prickly-haired Eoghan Quigg, Diana went her own route. She scotched those rumours, especially because Eoghan would have been punching waaay above his weight to pull a cutie like Miss Vickers. Anyhow, she went on to star in a successful run of Little Voice on the West End and everyone lived happily ever after.

But not really. She signed up for X Factor to be a pop star, right? Well, here it is, the debut single from Diana Vickers. And I’m willing to pronounce it a resounding success. The difficulty with Diana is how to use that voice to full effect without it becoming annoying. And Once does a fantastic job of harnessing those pipes to a hoarse, whispery effect, switching easily from poppy verses to an uplifting rock chorus.

I can’t help wondering if her stint on the West End has helped her – because she’s extremely composed and confident in the video. And hot too. I can say that because she’s a couple of years older than when she was on X Factor. There’s a brilliant bit early on in the video where she’s wearing this hideous rabbit-style hoodie, then the chorus kicks in and she flicks it back – and thanks to some awesome camera magic, she’s suddenly wearing a glam, glittery dress.

Once is a great track, and it positions Diana in popland, shoulder to shoulder with the Pixie Lotts of her generation. Her voice is unlike anything else we’re hearing in the charts at this moment in time, and it’s refreshing to hear good tunes from an ex-X Factor starlet – look at the cautionary tale of Quigg when you try to rush things!

Oh, and my source tells me that Once is released on 19th April 2010. The b-side will feature a track penned by Take That’s resident Sir Shag-A-Lot, Mark Owen called Sunlight. Hopefully monkey-boy won’t be singing on it! 

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