Lee Ryan - 'I Am Who I Am'
On the new Miley Cyrus album there's a song called 'Two More Lonely People', which is a bouncy, but mournful acoustipop sort of a thing. It has the distinct meaty thrust of a Kelly Clarkson super-normo-ballad, but reduced to a dull roar, as if trying to be friendly.
As is often the way with these things, there's a breakdown section where she sings the chorus - which owes more than a little to 'Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now' by Starship - quietly over some gently strummed guitars. This is so that she can really bring home the emotional clout of the song, before the rest of the band come steaming back in. And as is also often the case, the drummer does a little fill around the kit to re-introduce the ruckus.
Trouble is, he's playing syn-drums, and the fill he's gone with will be recognisable to almost all UK residents as the EastEnders "doof-doofs". Miley's US fans may feel very differently, because they don't have the same cultural reference points.
(Here's the video. It's got a persecution complex.)
Which brings me to Lee Ryan. A man who really shouldn't still be allowed to make records, if the arc of success for other former boybanders - particularly former boybanders who've already had a stab at a solo career and have endured a couple of mildly humiliating media scrums - is anything to go by.
He certainly shouldn't be at the Experienced Old Man Of Pop In A Waistcoat stage yet. That only comes with a good few years of attempting to trade off his former success in every medium-to-small nightclub the country has to offer. You've got to pay those dues, maan.
But no, he's got himself a proper grown-up record deal, with a HUGE international record label, and he's making sober, croaky man-ballads like this - written by Ben's Brother, no less - while still dressing like a teen idol and shouting at people on Twitter.
So, to some people, he may be an exciting new talent with something to say, but to those of us with longer memories, that we can't seem to erase, he's effectively become Miley's "doof-doofs", in human form. His media profile gets in the way of his own music. That video doesn't help.
And it's a shame, because this is really rather lovely, and is sung beautifully. Despite boasting a title which is somewhere between Gloria Gaynor and Popeye, it's got all the soft passion, intelligence, hard-won gravitas and quiet dignity you'd expect of...well...anyone but Lee Ryan.
I know! I SAID INTELLIGENCE AND LEE RYAN IN THE SAME SENTENCE!
DOOF! DOOF! DOOF! DUFDUFDUDDLEDUDDLE! etc...
The Beat Review says: "I think Lee finally got it right with this one."
Teen First says: "Lee's new music will finally reveal his sometimes misunderstood personality, and surprise even the most ardent pop aficionado."
Fabtastic Music says: "I've given most of the track a listen, and I'm thinking it's actually amazing."