Single Review: Alex Gardner – ‘Feeling Fine’

Any one remember Mini Viva? Well if you can, you may know their #7 hit ‘Left My Heart In Tokyo’; you may or may not know their follow-up singles ‘I Wish’’ and ‘One Touch’. All were sterling pop singles, particularly the latter, but only one was a hit: the former, resulting in their album being shelved. But you see, Mini Viva didn’t deserve this, purely because they were too good to just ‘shelve’. Plain and simple. They and their record label were actually showed they had quite a bit of savvy when it came to music.

When starting out as a new artists, you can take three paths and hope for success. Path 1 is to knock out a good pop track that is very relevant to Now’s music scene, and one that will appeal to all, á la ‘Left My Heart In Tokyo’. Path 2 is undoubtedly the harder one, but it doesn’t always bare fruit at the end of it, for ‘I Wish’ completely missed the Top 75. Path 3 is the one that’s really popular right now: add loads of lyrics with sexual connotations, a crap video and rap two-thirds in.

Moving on to Alex Gardner, and his follow-up to the obvious “Path 2” début single ‘I’m Not Mad’, which had one of the best basslines and smooth-yet-husky crooning heard on the music scene for years. Showing off his dulcet tones and ear for a brilliant production, he only managed to peak at #44, which may have made his record label sit him down and talk about where he’s going next. The result of said meeting is this: ‘Feeling Fine’, and much like Mini Viva, after attempting a failed “Path 2” song, a “Path 1” song must really be the only way to secure a hit and still keep your dignity, right? Right. But there’s just one problem, ‘Feeling Fine’ is horribly over-produced: much of the “smooth-yet-husky” crooning has been caked in auto-tune. Ke$ha style. It actually sound more like a Dr. Luke production than a Xenomania one, which is probably a good thing because we know how unpopular he is of late don’t we? Mini Viva, Gabriella Cilmi, and Alex Gardner have all entrusted their success in the Girls Aloud producer’s hands, but since RedOne and David Guetta took over, Xenomania is being ignored.

Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work, his falsetto is a little creepy and sticks out like a shark in a swarm of moonfish against the production, which itself is a little lacklustre and considerably tamer/generic than anything the producing duo have ever done. And by the time the middle eight rolls in, it just gets irritating because Alex feels the need to speed talk the lyrics and rush them out so fast they’re inaudible.

It’s very worrying to think that after Alex proved himself a decent vocalist on ‘I’m Not Mad’, the first thing that came to his record company’s mind was to record an entirely new song and auto-tune it in the hope it becomes more commercial. The tune itself is a step above alright, but there’s no escaping that auto-tune; it just doesn’t work with Alex’s voice; it’s very off-putting, it must be said.

But on the good side, and in a completely heterosexual way, he’s not getting any less attractive, is he?


Alex needs this to be a hit, because if it’s not, it could be goodbye for his album. I will gladly say this could easily be a hit if it was promoted and hyped up, but because Radio 1 are currently wetting themselves over ‘Let The Sun Shine’, and there are no TV appearances planned, it’ll be nothing short of a miracle if this makes the Top 75.

END NOTE: Mini Viva’s best single is easily ‘One Touch’, like obv innit… do YOU want candy?

Rating: 3.0 STARS

Download: September 27, 2010 (OUT NOW)

Featured Album: TBA

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