Joe McElderry is the latest product to come blasting out of Simon Cowell’s talent closet, but whilst Cowell and his blank-eyed minions have discovered some worthwhile artists (well, two) their gifts to the world have generally been to music what AIDS has been to free love. Rather impressively, McElderry has flown straight to the bottom of the X Factor/American Idol spectrum, producing one of the most vapid, bile-inducing records to ever torture human ears. It’s all such a shame really, as he was easily the most polite contestant television has ever seen, to the point that criticising the guy feels like kicking a retarded dog. Unfortunately, that politeness has utterly translated to his music, leaving it perfectly, sickeningly nice. Indeed, the only way the record ever strays from the very centre of the road is in the apocalyptically awful lyrics – the best of which come in the cover version of Five for Fighting’s ‘Superman’.
I’m just a man, in a funny red sheet,
Looking for special things inside of me.
The average quality of every song on Wide Awake is about that of a b-side track from some long forgotten one hit wonder. Musically it swings between ultra-camp, drowning-in-synth balladry (‘Someone Wake Me Up’, ‘Wide Awake’) and ultra-camp, party-tune electro-pop (‘Real Late Starter’, ‘Fahrenheit’). And mired amongst it all is McElderry’s polite voice, being polite, all the time, forever. He would make an outstanding call-centre operative – that easy tone would make it so pleasant to discover you’ve gone into an unplanned overdraft. Yes, he can carry a note, and he can obviously point his mouth towards a microphone, but should he really have been put in this situation? Were people really waiting for a new Cliff Richard to come and tear the world up? Is it really worth going on? Is it???
2. I can see how people would find this catchy, but in reality it's just the same processed generic recycled shit Cowell specialises in. Tbh it was slightly better than I expected it to be, but that's not exactly saying much. Also The Climb seems embarrassingly out of place thrown on at the end.