Sunday, December 14, 2008

Single Reviews 15/12/08

Well, there wasn’t a last-minute admittance of a miscount, therefore enabling Ruth to be crowned the X Factor winner, but hey, at least it wasn’t Eoghan. We now don’t have to leave the country in disgust, meaning you lucky buggers still get our End of Year countdowns, beginning next week. For now though, enjoy the final Single Reviews of 2008, and rest assured there’ll be no further X Factor-related rants for a good six months.

...And yet, on that note, it’s actually Alexandra Burke we come to first, with her Christmas Number One dead cert offering. It’s certainly a bizarre choice for an X Factor launch single, but her take on Jeff Buckley’s take on Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah is surprisingly decent, thus making it second only to Sound of the Underground as the best single to come straight off the back of a talent show.

The unusual yet effectual pairing of James Morrison and Nelly Furtado makes the engaging Broken Strings a particularly attractive prospect. A harder, more vigorous sound than we’re used to from Morrison creates a perfect basis for the blend of honeyed and husky vocals - we’re eternally thankful that this is the version committed to record rather than the train wreck featuring Girls Aloud.

And we end things with not just our Single of the Week, but the track that scoops the Christmas Number One in the Sloppy Dog alternate reality. Coming from The Boy Least Likely To, that’s perhaps not surprising. On the surface, The First Snowflake is a tender, touching lullaby, but it’s permeated with just enough festive merriment to make it an entirely pleasing Yuletide gem. Mince pie and a ear-to-ear smile, anyone?

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