Did Eoghan Quigg record the worst album ever?

I published my interview with X Factor finalist Eoghan Quigg yesterday, at the same time as the folks at PopJustice were commenting on Twitter about the quality of the album.

Now, I received my copy at the same time as they got their review copy. Up until this point, I’d maintained a stoic silence after being Eoghan’s harshest critic throughout the X Factor. At that time, I said that [[Simon Cowell]] stood to make more money from phone votes for Eoghan Quigg that he ever would in record sales.

Anyway, PopJustice released their review of the album yesterday, and it has perhaps the most perfect analysis of the song selection and production values:

Imagine the three worst reality pop albums you have ever heard. Let’s pick the Michelle McManus album, the David Sneddon album and the Journey South album. Imagine the combined badness of all those albums, then somehow imagine that ALL personality has been sucked out out. Then imagine that they kept on sucking, long after there all personality was gone, until there was a sort of personality prolapse. You are still only half way to understanding just how empty these recordings are.

Now, Unreality TV has received some criticism in our time about being so scathing about reality TV contestants. But when the quality is this poor, you can’t help but unleash the snark.

Seriously though, this kid won 6 of the X Factor live shows. He was probably the most popular contestant in 2008 until Simon Cowell starting heaping praise on Alexandra Burke. And what do you do when you’ve got a teenage boy who could sell records to hordes of baying teenage girls? You don’t give him an album that’s 50% covers, 50% Busted-style rubbish. You don’t give him a single that indirectly insults the social media sites that his peer group use on a daily basis.

Instead of heaping insults on this teenager’s first (and clearly last) foray into the music industry, let’s ask the idiots who’re managing Eoghan what the hell they think they’re playing at. First to market out of all the X Factor contestants means nothing if you release utter rubbish. Some questions for the brainiacs who’ve engineered Eoghan Quigg’s musical death:

  1. Who are you selling to here – mothers or their teenie daughters? Because covering an ABBA song is a credibility FAIL for Eoghan.
  2. Why does the single sound like it could have been sung by Victor Meldrew lamenting all this modern technology kids today use? When you cancel his record deal, will you dump him by YouTube, Facebook, MySpace or IM?
  3. Is this a sneaky attempt at career sabotage? Come on, be honest, were you seriously expecting a shot at a second album after releasing this garbage?
  4. Why, given 5 years of X Factor experience – in which time other former contestants released shitty cover albums, and died a commercial death – did you rush-release such a weak product?

In all seriousness, I haven’t read a single positive review for either the single or the album. And I can’t in good conscience blame Eoghan for this mess. I actually heard that Eoghan’s father expressed concern about 28,000 Friends, but was talked around by record execs.

This is the kind of consistent failure that TV talent shows have been pumping out for years now. As I say above, the management behind music like this has had ample opportunity to refine their approach to giving X Factor runners-up a record deal and making a success of it.

My feeling at this point in time is that the record deal is in order to milk whatever audience these people still have before it evaporates completely. Because I can’t see one shred of strategy or artist development in Eoghan’s career to date. There’s no plan for a follow-up album, because this time next year, they’ll have moved on to the next set of runners-up and Quigg, Lorenzo, Vickers and the rest will be long forgotten.

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