There have been many outcomes for contestants on the X Factor. Global super-stardom like Leona or, apparently, One Direction, the more home grown successes like Alexandra, JLS or Rebecca, or the third road: churning out crappy albums of covers in time for Mother’s Day, despite deserving better. Think the McElderrys or Tesco Marys of this world. Guess which category recent runner-up Marcus Collins fits into?
It’s sad because he seems like such a nice boy, but frankly I can’t see a future for him besides the West End, occasional appearances on This Morning and, inevitably, Dancing On Ice 2013. The good news is the covers are very much in the minority. The bad news is that the original songs mostly fall into the same category of unstoppable mediocrity that opening single “Seven Nation Army” did.
Ah, “Seven Nation Army”. In a way I love his version of it, simply for pissing off so many music snobs. Music snobs really are the worst. Alas, this time they may have a point. It’s nice enough and it’s not exactly the anti-Christ of songs that some White Stripes may have you think, but it’s just so…. blah. I also find the video, filled with Marcus being groped by women, really quite offensive. HE’S GAY, WE ALL KNOW AND ACCEPT THIS, STOP TRYING TO HIDE IT.
The blahness seeps through the rest of the album like a beige coloured stick of rock. Songs like “Love & Hate”, “It’s Time” and “Break These Chains” don’t even warrant a comment they’re so dull, and even the better songs like “Innocence” or “Don’t Surrender” would be considered filler on, say, an Olly Murs album. And if you can be considered a low grade Olly Murs, then maybe it’s time to stop. Forever.
Oh, Gary Barlow has written a track as well and, showing a surprising grasp on reality and the music industry, hasn’t written some mopey ballad, instead it’s a quite upbeat Motown-y affair. It too is very dull, but it’s better treatment than poor Alesha Dixon ever got.
Besides Seven Nation Army, the other couple of covers are a surprisingly decent cover of Janelle Monáe’s “Tightrope”, which is my favourite track on the album, and a reprise of his X Factor favourite “Higher & Higher” that he also repeated in the final. Which is stupid. Everyone knows his best performance was Reet Petite, and frankly it was only reason he got to the final. But what do I know, eh Marcus? EXCEPT EVERYTHING, START LISTENING TO ME.
His next single “Mercy” is the only non-Tightrope song worth listening to so at least that’s something, but the fact that it’s not the lead single is a debacle worthy of Cher Lloyd’s “Swagger Jagger”/”Want U Back” decision. Hopefully for him, releasing it means he won’t be stuck in the Lion King come next Christmas.
I really just want to finish off by emphasising that this isn’t a BAD album. Marcus is not Eoghan Quigg. But the whole album is so staggeringly boring, and above all, soulless there’s just no way you can ever consider a good album either. Even Marcus’ vocals sound like he just doesn’t give a shit, however capable a singer he may be. I think we’re all just going to have to move on from this sad event and hope for Little Mix, Misha and Amelia’s sakes that they bring out something a wee bit better. Which the former two undoubtedly will, BTW.
BEST 3 SONGS: “Tightrope”, “Mercy”, “Innocence”