Diana Vickers - 'My Wicked Heart'
That Diana Vickers has a solo career at all is some kind of triumph of her determined square-peggery in an industry which often demands their pegs to be not only round, but small enough to slip through the template hole without touching the side. She put her first single out long after the buzz around her X Factor appearances had passed. She put her second out, and it didn't seem to do quite as well as the first. This is usually the point at which the story of an X Factor pop star fizzles out.
But not our Diana, oh no...
(Here's the video. It is, in a very real sense, a rum do.)
And look what she came back with! To kick off the re-launch of her album, here's a song which is all puff and swagger, pomp and nonsense, brassy and kick-assy, and a video which is pretty much Lady Gaga for kids. All of which are officially Good Things*.
Just about the only thing against it is that the production sometimes feels a bit anaemic for a song with quite this much spirit. Diana's giving it the full "WHOOPS! BONKERS!" treatment, and the music, while arranged into an artful patchwork of trumpets and stutterdrums, doesn't quite match the sheer what-the-hellery. We need timpanis! A marching band! Very very loud guitars! Explosions!
In fact, the bit where voice and music seem to be in closest alignment is the breakdown, which is almost entirely voices: a bank of Dianas, some of whom have been playing with helium. That's a brilliantly confident thing to do, especially when followed with her Barbara Windsor-y "whoops-a-daisy" yelp. These are the kind of moves you pull when you don't care how your song fits next to anyone else's, and of course, that thought is always how you get to the good ideas.
AND it scores extra points for being the first Diana Vickers single to fail to mention death. Just at the point at which her career recovers from, well, the thing itself. Amazing.
* Apart from the album thing. That's a bit ripe.
The Pop Web says: "Firmly puts to bed any lingering doubts we may have had that Diana Vickers is becoming a licence to print money."
PopAnonymous says: "Huge props to Diana for not taking the electropop/Guetta/RedOne train, and instead choosing the more worthwhile trip."