He's clearly been allowed to create a sound that reflects his ideas and abilities in a...
Chris Long 2002-11-20
If the hateful beast of reality pop has one saving grace, it is that the fortunes of the eventual winners and losers have twisted and turned like the snake that dreamt the whole devilish idea up.
The irony of the losers Liberty X being ten times the band that Hear'Say could ever have been was thick enough to butter a thousand slices of bread. Add the completely blinkered approach to Pop Idol, which almost saw Will Young pushed aside in favour of the soulless stuttering sap Gareth Gates was both hilarious and sickening.
It's Will that will have the final laugh though, as his second album, Friday's child, shows.
He's clearly been allowed to create a sound that reflects his ideas and abilities in a way that the manipulated and frankly vomit inducing Gates could never manage. Young has shown a maturity and a drive to succeed and he seems to have a very good ear for catchy pop soul.
Opening with a gospel-washed version of Stephen Stills "Love The One You're With", Friday's Child is a surprisingly strong collection. Much like Liberty X's Being Somebody, the album has enough confidence and style to paper over the weak points.
The first single, "Leave Right Now" is a gloriously understated affair and that feeling flows through the majority of the tunes on offer. Particular praise goes to the twitching dinner party funk of "Dance The Night Away" and the epic nine minute closing title track. Most refreshing of all is the genuine subtlety of the tracks, something that is badly missing from most of Young's contemporaries' work.
Friday's Child may sound a little 'coffee table' at times, but that's a reflection of the fans Young has and wants. It has always looked a little bizarre to pit Will against Gareth, now it is just downright ridiculous. While Gates audience currently rates him in their favourites somewhere between Barbie and the Tweenies, Young is moving even further upmarket, and that's where pop career longevity lives.