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Joe McElderry - 'Someone Wake Me Up'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:32 UK time, Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Joe McElderry

So, third time around, a final big push for the big time; after a spirited but slightly shaky start. Is there a victory in the offing?

What we've got here is the product of a popular franchise, a household name with a couple of fairly solid successes under the old belt, but it's not entirely clear whether the public are happy to offer their support indefinitely, of if they would rather wander off to something else, and leave everything to vanish in a puff of snooze.

But enough about the Chronicles of Narnia films, let's talk about Joe McElderry.

(Here's the video. It is MUCH Narnier than the first two.)

Now, the first and most obvious thing to point out is that this is essentially 'Just The Way You Are' by Bruno Mars. The words are different, it's got moodier production, it goes all boomy in the chorus - think Snow Patrol or somesuch - and Joe does not have Bruno's honeyed croon, but these are superficial differences.

When you find yourself singing one song over the top of another, and it fits...*shrugs* whaddyagonnado?

What's weird is that this isn't even the official Chronicles of Narnia song. It's not featured in the end credits either. That's 'There's A Place For Us', which is sung by Carrie Underwood in the States (and Joe has also done a version, possibly for the UK release).

'Someone Wake Me Up' is referred to as the B-side, but it's the one with the actual video - featuring footage from the film - and the promotional push. Which means, uh, I'm not sure...It just seems like a bit of a cross-branding desperation mess from both sides, truth be told.

Also, if I spent most of my working life on a televised search for major singing talent and I was pretty confident about my abilities in that regard, I would want to ask some serious questions about the actual appeal of a star whose singles have to come out when the show is on the air, or be tied in with a major film release, in order to be successful.

Let Joe put something out in March, when everyone has forgotten about the X Factor (or we're knee deep in Cher Lloyd songs), and THEN we'll see what's what, eh?

Three starsDownload: Out now

BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)

PS: I've seen several people try to claim that this is Joe's second single. No, that was 'Ambition'. His X Factor winner's single still counts. It has to, or Steve Brookstein is effectively a no-hit wonder.

Music Is My King Sized Bed says: "I really like Joe McElderry. I like his voice. I like his range."


  • Comment number 1.

    Actual love this song. So much.

    5 stars.

    No joke. See? I'm talking in. Short sentences.

    I mean. This.

  • Comment number 2.

    Decent pop song, especially considering it's his first original single, can't see it doing to well in the charts though people don't seem to like Joe no more. Also does the bridge between the verse and chorus sound a bit awkward to anyone else, the 'don't say I love you' bit, it just doesn't flow well for me.

    3 STARS

  • Comment number 3.

    Joe McElderry. Someone Wake Me Up. Nuff said.

    Harsh, I know, but this type of exfactor formula stuff really leaves me cold. There is some class pop out there. This. Isn't. It.

  • Comment number 4.

    Destined to flop. These days, for a popstar, once one song doesn't perform as well as expected, and hype dies down, they are doomed.

    It's actually scary just how fickle many music buyers and radio stations have become. I guess radio is more to blame though, because if they don't play the songs, obviously less people will hear them and buy them. But still, considering Joe is an X Factor winner on only his 2nd proper single, you'd think at least a decent chunk of the several millions of people who voted for him to win X Factor last year would still be supporting him.

  • Comment number 5.

    Oops. Thanks Fraser. Third single...not second. Got that bit wrong.

  • Comment number 6.

    1) 'The Climb'
    2) 'Ambitions'
    3) 'Someone Wake Me Up'


  • Comment number 7.

    Lets be done with it an put us all out of our misery he should be in a musical in lycra singing the circle of life i said it from the beginning his voice is not for cd but for the few who enjoy a theatre trip he never should of won ever i dont no why he did and so far due to drab dreary releases i've been proven right he's just so annoying he's like a red coat on prozac oh well at least he's still better than cheryl.

  • Comment number 8.

    Ah now, you see, this is what gets me... People saying he's better suited to the West End... Have you not seen his video acting? Absolutely awful, and he only has to mime!

    Another thing that really gets my goat is when people say he's drab and dreary. People who say this are single-handedly admitting they haven't even listened to his album. I wasn't a fan of Joe (I thought X Factor series 6 was awful), but his album is far from "drab and dreary".

    Yes, his music isn't anything special, but it's got more energy than anything any X Factor alumni has put out (with the exception of Diana's 'My Wicked Heart'). All throughout Syco's six previous series, the winner's albums take themselves too seriously; they're barely starting out in the industry and they get thrown into an album of "serious artist" songs. Joe McElderry's album is the most real album of the lot based on the simple fact is gives it's listeners something no other X Factor winner's album has: fun.

    Mind you, yes he is better than Cheryl Cole, although her new single 'The Flood' was written and produced well.

  • Comment number 9.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 10.

    Love this song and the video. Gives me goosebumps. Brilliant.


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