Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Album Review: Leon Jackson - Right Now (3/5)

Leon Jackson is the fourth winner of the UKs answer to American Idol, X-Factor. The first winner of the show Steve Brookstein back in 2004, is of course no where to be seen, his debut album Heart & Soul became a #1 album as expected, also scoring a christmas #1 with the remake of Phil Collins "Again All Odds", his sophomore album 40,000 Things became one of the biggest flops in UK history.

The second winner Shanye Ward isn't my favorite X-Factor winner but I do enjoy his music, following in the footsteps of Steve Brookstein he also topped the UK charts with his debut album, only with heavier sales, scoring 3 top 20 hits (and 1 #1) with "That's My Goal", "No Promises" and "Sand By Me". His sophomore effort wasn't remarkably successful, but it did get the job done Breathless failed to connect, internationally like his debut but put out a pretty decent performance in the UK, spawning 2 top 10 hits with "If That's OK With You" and "Breathless".

The third winner Leona Lewis is the shows biggest success ever, her achievements since winning the show have been countless. Her debut album Spirit became the fastest selling debut album since Britney Spears' ...Baby One More Time back in 1999, also topping charts across the globe including the U.S. Billboard 200. Her smash hit single "Bleeding Love" also saw similar commercial success.

Now we have 18 year old Leon Jackson. His debut album Right Now I think this the weakest X-Factor debut rivaling Steve Brookstein's Heart & Soul, "Don't Call This Love" the albums lead single, is really my favorite cut on here, it's a typical piano, string, drums combination with some violins soaring in the background. The ballad "Fingerprints" is another highlight, it's the more contemporary moment on the album, although I can sense a 50s throwback vibe, It incorporates a nice collection of trumpets, drums and piano.

Taking on more of a Take That sound is "Stargazing" which is another ballad on the album, it's a decent number but lacks a good hook and adopts a more bland chorus. "All In A Good Time" is yet another ballad except is one of the better ones and more experimental, it's those types that you would hear in a 60s 50s big band production, I love the choir in the chorus and the recurring trumpets. Another highlight is the rumba influenced "Creative" which is slated as the albums second single, although it sounds a tad old fashioned, it kinda reminds me of Ex-Spice Girl Emma Bunton's recent work, like the stuff on Life in a Mono or her sophomore effort Free Me, very 60s jazzy.

The more weaker moments on the album are "You Don't Know Me" which admittedly does adopt a very classy orchestration, but is very very bland, tepid and boring. Another is "A Song For You" which is just another tasteless ballad, abusing the piano. "Could Do Better" is slightly better but again suffers from a bland chorus. It's unfortunate the clunkers out weigh the good tracks.

"Misty Blue" is arguably the most old fashioned track on the album, but I am pretty familiar with it, it before remade my R&B singer Monica back in 1998 for her sophomore album The Boy Is Mine. The albums closing track "Caledonia" is mellow guitar backed ballad, which burst into a nice drum and tambourine combination during the second verse before bursting into a full blown rock-pop production.

Right Now is definitely not Leon's Spirit and the album will probably not be receiving the same global success as Spirit but it is a decent album, nothing spectacular but very decent. Now that I think about it, the way this album carries itself reminds of Ray (I forgot his second name) runner up to Leona Lewis on the X-Factor, debut album which also indulged in old-fashion Jazz (and surprisingly hit #1 on the UK album chart).

Best Tracks: Don't Call This Love, Creative, Fingerprints


Nikki said...

Loving the blog, and I love your review, it's so different to mine. It's nice to read a review from a different point of view..

J.Mensah said...

Yeahh! I just read yours! and we seem to have to the highlights lol! So Cool! (H)

ken said...

hi. just read your review. i'm pretty happy that you liked Leon's new album. I gave it a 3/5 rating because i don't think this is Leon at his best. check out my review. :x


J.Mensah said...

I've Just checked out yours! i left a comment )