Leon Jackson - 'Don't Call This Love'
Oh so THAT'S how the marketing strategy works! The X-Factor winner doesn't put out his second single (or debut album) until the next series of the show has started. This is presumably to ensure that people aren't so distracted by Britain's Got Talent or Any Dream Will Do or Last Chair Standing (celebrity musical chairs, it's only a matter of time before they actually do do this) that they forget to re-invest in their champion from last year.
It's like the seasons, long winter nights = X Factor. Long summer days = Not X Factor, and that's why the follow-up singles come out when they do. This time last year, as the leaves were falling from the trees, Shayne Ward and Leona Lewis both had massive chart hits, ending a period of silence. They probably would have had those hits anyway, particularly Leona with 'Bleeding Love', but it doesn't make the timing any less interesting...
So, here we are. The new series is underway, Same Difference are ready to drop their debut single, Rhydian is probably being forcably removed from a peroxide bottle in order to shoot his video, and here's Leon, freshly-shorn of his scraggly Britpop 'do, be-quiffed and ready to give it some serious Philly soul. But is he any good? Is he just another TV sob story singer with a cute smile? Does he REALLY have the X-Factor, or is it a case of (cough) Y-Bother?
As is often the case in life, the truth is slightly more complex. Leon has a decent enough voice, on the evidence of this song, and now that the hoo-ha around the winning has died down a bit, he can get on with singing nice songs about love which suit him, and not silly songs from musicals about overcoming horrendous adversity, when we all know he's just won a TV talent competition, not lifted a bull elephant above his head, single handed.
And, despite being all gloss and no point, despite labouring under rubbish half-rhymes ('only' and 'honey'...ouch!), and despite the suspicion that if you like this song, you're just playing into the hands of an evil genius, it's, y'know, alright. Did I mention the Philly soul thing? I did...OK.
There's really nothing going on here that isn't on your average James Morrison or Adele single, so the 'authentic music' brigade can shut up too. It's not all bad, it's not all good. He's not going to be around for a very long time, nor is he a national embarrassment.
He's just really, really, really easy to forget. Or at least I think he is. Cuppa tea?
PS: If you think I'm having an unduly cynical pop at X-Factor, it's worth noting that Alesha Dixon, last year's Strictly Come Dancing winner, is about to release a single too.