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Lemar - 'Weight Of The World'

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Grant | 17:36 UK time, Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Lemar It ain't easy being Lemar. The man has the weight of the world on his shoulders and as Fraser proved last week, he is seriously suffering for his art... If he doesn't get up from that chair soon, the fire beam he's perching on is definitely going to pierce straight through his right leg. But in releasing this single, he's not only at serious risk of losing a limb; he's also at serious risk of losing some fans.

Back in the day (2002) I was one of Lemar's biggest fans, and have since argued he is the finest natural vocal talent to have been produced from a reality TV programme.* What I first liked about Lemar was that he wrote his own music and didn't take himself too seriously. His first two albums rocked, in an R'N'B way, but recently it feels like he hasn't been putting any effort into the production of his new material and has got all heavy and sentimental.

It all started to go horribly wrong for me at my Freshers ball at Uni, when he turned up three hours late for his headline performance. The next day, my Uni paper lead with the headline: 'LAME-AR'. This wasn't a huge deal, but was just the start. Since then he's released and handful of average singles and got all profound (re: facial expression - album cover). But no matter what history I may have with Lemar, I have strived to remain objective when reviewing this single, remembering the good and bad times, to discover whether this single is LAME-AR or in fact, LEMARVELLOUS.

As a pop song, it works. The strange sitar sound at the beginning that drops into an R'N'B beat is a bit weird, but pleasant enough. Unfortunately, the track soon settles and sounds pretty much like every other balladesque tune Lemar has produced, and the non-bridgy bridge just feels a bit lazy. The chorus is a grower, if given the time, but if you're not a fan of Lemar, I doubt it'll be given a second play.

I get the sense that the writing and production of the song had been rushed and not given a real going over. It would be much better suited as an album filler rather than a single release. Lemar's voice is still as soulful as ever, and is the single's one saving grace, but that doesn't excuse this unadventurous song.

It's not exactly LAME-AR but it's certainly not LEMARVELLOUS. Let's just call it LEMARGINALLY alright...please forgive how tenuous that is.

Two stars Download: Out now
CD Released: March 2nd
http://www.lemar-online.com/

(Grant Black)

NB: There's no official video for it yet, but as soon as there is, we'll let you know.

*I was in the audience for an episode of Fame Academy and I have the Best of Fame Academy on VHS if anyone would like to borrow it.

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