Rebecca Ferguson’s album

Shortest album review ever: Rebecca’s album is brilliant.  Buy it. (Seriously: it’s too good for a numpty like me to review intelligently, so I stuck to all you need to know.)

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  1. Gerard McGarry

    Your first blog entry on Shout, ThatOne? I knew it was short when I approved it, but I thought it would be a great place to start a discussion.

    Can we start with two quick questions though?

    1. What’s the album called?
    2. What are the standout tracks on it from your point of view?
  2. ThatOne

    I was more interested in starting a discussion than in attempting and failing miserably to write a reasoned critique. For example, how do I get round the fact that all the tracks are stand-out tracks? When a waiter tells you that the dish of the day is “whatever, and exceptionally good”, do you ask what the stand-out ingredients might be?

    Humility when contemplating greatness is a good policy.

    (Moment of truth: When I wrote the first item I didn’t know what the title is.  I think that says something, so I’ll leave my ignorance intact, a shining beacon to an album I nearly know by heart already, apart from the name.)

  3. canadiangal

    I just previewed the album on Itunes.  Unfortunately, the album is not being released here (Canada) so I cannot download the album from the UK or Ireland itunes. Amazon wants a fortune for it right now, so will wait until the price comes down a bit.

    This is a wonderful album…..I would really like to purchase it in the future!!!  

  4. ThatOne

    canadiangal: I’ve mailed HMV Canada, using the contact form on their website, asking them to list Rebecca’s album as soon as possible.  Last time I created pressure on HMV UK with a similar case they folded and listed the album as a standard item, not an “import”. In that usage “import” means someone has bought copies of the album at or near the retail price, then added for postage, customs, sales tax and a healthy profit…  On my own I have rather less than no chance at all of getting HMV Canada to pay attention.

    1. canadiangal

      Thanx ThatOne!

      I have done as you suggested; however, I have my doubts about what 1 small voice will accomplish.  Our best hope is that Epic markets the album in the USA; then we will have it in Canada for sure.


  5. Silvio R

    Well, I ain’t gonna be as enthusiastic as ThatOne, but the album is really, really good. A very nice first album really. I have to say that a year ago, I did not expect to hear from Rebecca this sort of album. The songs are 100% Rebecca, and there is some strong stuff there. My favorite tracks are the first three in the album. And the last one is good too.

    I would just go on the record and say that this is exactly what happens when you get out of Simon’s claws. I would have liked Matt to have that honor too. Oh well. 

    I can’t help but notice a bit of Florence and Amy in there too. I don’t know if there’s a common producer or songwirtter in there, but I kinda don’t care. The girl is awesome.

    1. Gerard McGarry

      Is she actually out of Simon’s clutches? I thought she was signed to Syco. Certainly the video for her single on YouTube is credited to Simco, and she’s listed in Wikipedia as being in a joint contract with Syco and Epic. I think the last X Factor ‘artist’ to sign that type of deal was Olly Murs. And to be fair, though he’s got a face that even a mother would want to slap, they’ve dealt him out some pretty good tunes.

      1. Silvio R

        Seriously? Then I have to take that back. I just remembered the Epic part of the deal. 

        After a quick research I found out that Epic’s CEO is LA Reid. Hmm. 

          1. Silvio R

            And Gary sent the first single for Matt’s album. And Tulisa’s boyfriend is producing the winner’s single. And Simon and Paula have been best friends for ages. And Mariah’s husband is the presenter of AGT. With Sharon and Piers (once) judging. 

            If they were the mob, we’d be all dead.

    2. ThatOne

      I deliberately avoided any forms of “perfect”, and stuck with a step or two down from there with “brilliant”. Rebecca is a perfectionist, so she will have found things to do better next time around.  My friends and I fail miserably at defining which tracks we like the most.  The major failures, like me, end up trying to explain how we like 8 or more tracks “the most”, only to change our minds more often than a candidate at a town hall meeting.

      Here in the UK we have been lucky recently to produce such a crop of uber-talented female singer-songwriters in the Quality Popular Music genre, and, while there is much that differentiates them, they do have a sibling accent in their work. I hope someone discovers “new” recordings or songs for others too sing created by Amy.  Every aspect of Amy’s death is a tragedy; the ensemble is difficult to contemplate serenely.

      And now, if we want an uber-talented female singer-songwriter in a more urban genre, Misha B will soon be on her way.  It is said Simon wants to keep Misha B within Syco; there is always a risk that obtaining the desirable puts paid to its desirability.  I don’t see Simon allowing Misha B the same freedom as he gave Rebecca.

      Sign up for the X Factor if you want; just avoid winning.

  6. ThatOne

    I think many Rebecca fans are a bit shocked by the way Rebecca has gone from being 100% Cowell’s property, to 0% Cowell’s property, to x%, (well, it is “The X Factor…), Cowell’s property.  Look at it thus: Rebecca got her own way with an album of all new songs with herself as the first name on the writing credits; after a timid, maybe “wait and see”, start the album now has a strong advertising campaign behind it, making it certain to be one of the strongest selling albums in the UK in 2011.  That’s the point at which I give thanks for small mercies and get back to enjoying the album.  Overthinking delights tarnishes them.

    1. Gerard McGarry

      Given that there’s a certain stigma attached to being X Factor product, it’s actually quite sensible of them to detatch some artists from the X Factor brand. Perhaps Cardle would have been a little more successful if he’d gone that route rather than being solely a Syco act.

      We cannot dispute the quality of Rebecca’s voice, and now that she’s got a decent level of creative control, it’s easier to see her as a bona fide artist rather than an employee of a record label singing what Mr. Cowell tells them to.

  7. ThatOne

    Gerard, I hate you! I would have written that if I could think that clearly and write that well.

    One personal thought: The best material from Matt is his pre-XF work available on YouTube.  It has a good unrefined character, with Matt and his mates doing their own thing without any interference.  His album has lost all that, and presents Matt as quite samey all the way through.  I have no doubt he will do a lot better with his second album, if he gets to make it and if he is allowed the creative freedom that makes Rebecca’s album so very interesting.  Leona’s second album showed more of her reality but performed relatively poorly in the charts; it got less advertising support than Rebecca’s first album is now receiving.

    Post XF success depends less on the singer’s talent than on their willingness and ability to stand up to Simon and his tame recording outfits.  Ask Steve Brookstein.

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