The Alesha Dixons of the scene are going to have to come stronger than this.
Alex Forster 2008
Modern celebrity is a fickle beast. After it chews you up and spits you out only a few are rewarded for their resilience with one more bite of the cherry; if you're lucky enough this is a chance to be seized more than a moment to be savoured. The seemingly infinite medium of reality T.V has become the route du jour for that elusive last throw of the dice, indeed at this very moment there a six desperadoes swinging from vines in the jungle job-centre, each one hoping to land on a career. What sets Alesha Dixon apart, as she demonstrated from her Strictly Come Dancing performance and subsequent T.V appearances - to apply a Simon Cowell-ism - is her 'likeability factor'.
Capitalising on her recent return to form, The Alesha Show opens with an intro whose bombast recalls Rich Harrison's production with Amerie: a feisty salvo over brass-fuelled funk. Relief sets in. Have we been wrong-footed by our ballroom Barbarella's cabaret garms on the front cover? Is this the Alesha of old? A rhymes-spitting, N.E.R.D video featuring, uniquely British r & b vixen that can ace rather than ape the Americans? The answer sadly is ''no''. Thin on the ground exceptions, the sweet pop 'n' b jam Breathe Slow and the 80s synth-led Hand It Over, struggle to dent the prevailing impression that rather than use the Strictly win as a springboard, the 25 year-old has enlisted the formidable judging talents of Craig, Arlene, Len and Bruno as her musical directors.
Previous Mis-teeq records were helmed by heavy-weight modern soul producers Jermaine Dupri, Salaam Remi, and Stargate (architects of smash One Night Stand). The Alesha Show's cast of writers and producers are moonlighting from better paid jobs with Girls Aloud and Duffy.
When ring tones sell more than cds, talents like Lemar bring out a new album and no one notices; even established acts like Craid David are jumping on the bassline bandwagon to get some, ANY, attention - the Alesha Dixons of the scene are going to have to come stronger than this. Though there's always Celeb Air 2.