Richard Fleeshman Neon Review

Released 2007.  

BBC Review

One big, steaming cauldron of fondue cheese.

Lizzie Ennever 2007

Since waving a tearful goodbye to Weatherfield and Corrie girlfriend, Rosie, a year ago, Richard Fleeshman has busy been pursuing his pop career. He has spent the last few months recording his debut – Neon – which, to be honest, may leave his fans disappointed. It’s not that ‘The Fleesh’ doesn’t have a good voice and his producers have chosen a suitably catchy bunch of tunes with which to launch his alternative career. But, unfortunately, they tend to just melt together into one big, steaming cauldron of fondue cheese.

He may have the requisite boyband looks, but this also brings home the idea that this sounds like a nothing more than a collection of Boyzone songs, covered by a solo artist. His version of Semisonic’s "Secret Smile" leaves a lot to be desired, and the less said about his soulful attempt on "Eighteen" the better… Yes, he won Soapstar Superstar and did a star turn as Will Young on Stars In Their Eyes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a bona fide pop star yet, and Neon's lack of anything to raise it above the crowd doesn’t smack of great things to come.

However, it's not all bad news. He does manage to salvage something in ''Going Backwards'', which has more character and is less over-produced. Also the single, ''Coming Down'', is a sure-fire bet to win air-time, especially in the run up to Christmas. Fleeshman has a good range in his voice and attempts varying styles, from the ballad-y "Back Here" to the jaunty "Hold Me Close", which makes for a fine, upbeat finale. It leaves you feeling like you haven't totally wasted the last hour of your life…

This is in no way a terrible album but he's obviously yet to find his true voice, making the results somewhat mediocre. If you are a fan of 'The Fleesh' in Coronation Street then chances are that you'll overlook these limitations and buy Neon. And love it. If you’re not, don't bother...

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