Richard X X-Factor Volume One Review

Released 2003.  

BBC Review

Stunning first album from the uber bootleg alchemist-turned hit-maker. Richard X teams...

Jack Smith 2003

It can be argued that the mark of a strong artist album is if the singles, or at least potential ones, outweigh the fillers. The debut opus from Richard X, the über bootleg alchemist-turned-hitmaker, is just brimming with the good stuff.

Even if you discount the two smash hits with the Sugababes ("Freak Like Me") and Liberty X ("Being Nobody"), there's at least another handful of tracks waiting to take their places in the upper echelons of the charts. Next up is his pairing with hip-rocker Kelis on the SOS Band-borrowing, electro hip-hopper "Finest Dreams" -have you caught the video yet? Ground breaking stuff.

Add to the list Popstar hopeful Javine Hylton updating Thelma Houston's "You Used To Hold Me So Tight" now abridged to just "You Used To", an inspirational, artsy, radio-friendly and trunk-bumpable version. Canadian media darling, Tiga, offers the most club-friendly track with the electroclasher "You (Better Let Me Love You x4) Tonight". It was recently paired as a limited edition sampler with the albums' other sure-fire dancer, the Spandau Ballet-inspired "Rock Jacket" that neatly takes the distinctive guitar riff from their "Chant No. 1 (I Dont Need This Pressure On)".

Such is Richard's obsession with all things retro, that he tracked down pop ingénue Deborah Evans-Strickland who sang on the Flying Lizards 1979 recording of "Money (That's What I Want)" to step up to the mic again on two album cuts a cover of Bacharach & David's "Walk On By" and the abstract "Lemon/Lime" both the weakest links in an otherwise strong chain.

Elsewhere contributions from Jarvis Cocker and Mazzy Star's Hope Sandoval on the electronic waltz "Into You" (which samples Mazzy Star's "Fade Into You"); Caron Wheeler (on an update of Lil Louis archetypical house anthem "Club Lonely"), and even Mark 'Top 40' Goodier add to the eclectic mix of an album that's assured to find its way into best of listings come the end of the year. If you listen closely you can almost hear the sound of the cash registers start to ker-ching.

Creative Commons Licence This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Licence. If you choose to use this review on your site please link back to this page.