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Alexandra Burke - 'Broken Heels'

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Fraser McAlpine | 14:34 UK time, Thursday, 7 January 2010

Alexandra Burke

If you're at all interested in what makes a good pop star, it should seem obvious that the winner of a TV talent show - where they've engaged with the public and the public has got behind them as a person - should really be allowed to express the full range of their personality, with all the attendant complexities. It's the one thing they have left to bring to the table. Up until now it's just been a lot of singing, a lot of big-eyed nodding/welling up and a heap of gritted teeth and speeches about trying hard.

So it seems slightly patronising that, being The Other Talented Singer That The X Factor Has Discovered, Alexandra has been shoehorned so directly away from Leona Lewis's territory. Leona does great big slow songs and Alexandra does slinky fast ones: This is how we, the easily confused pop fans, will be able to tell them apart. Alexandra is officially Not Leona, OK?

Having said that, pop stars doing pop songs you can dance to is always best, so at least SOMEONE'S making the effort.

(Here's the video. Touchdown!)

And this is definitely, decisively, preposterously aimed at the dancefloor, specifically the people on the dancefloor with the handbags and the lipstick - the ones that tend to do most of the dancing. It's basically another one of those "girls are better than boys, right girls?" diva-brag jobs, and effectively puts forward the idea that even if a woman is hobbled by uneven footwear, she can still kick man-ass when it comes to gold medal standard Olympic partying.

In the cold light of day, outside of a social gathering, such claims may seem odd. Reminiscent in many ways of boasting about how many drinks you can down before you need a wee, to your nan. It's not really the kind of claim that requires a response, because proving your point would require an independent judge, an agreement on how you can best measure the quality of someone's party contributions, a party, and maybe the setting up a league of some sort...it's a faff.

BUT, you get a gaggle of girls together on a night out, play this song, and they'll be howling along before the end of the first chorus, as if this some kind of manifesto for total gender superiority. They might even point at the boys and laugh.

The funny thing is, all Alexandra had to to make the exact same point was organise one photograph. On the left-hand side, she could stand next to Leona. Then there'd be a line, with Steve Brookstein, Leon Jackson, Shayne Ward on the other side. And maybe in six months or so, Joe as well. Job done.

Four starsDownload: Out now
CD Released: January 18th
BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)



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