I brought this album because I love Matt's voice. I honestly think I would enjoy him singing exerts from the phone book to random tunes, but that isn't what makes Matt unique as an X-factor contestant, nor as an X-factor winner, because lets face it once you get past boot camp, with the odd noteable exception, all of the finalists can sing. What makes Matt unique is that he has true musical talent. Being able to hold a tune is not a unique skill amongst the population, being able to mesmerise an audience or sing something in such a way that it pulls emotion from the audience is, and Matt has that quality, whatever it is, the stuff that you can't invent, can't buy, can't practice your way into, can't even always put your finger on exactly what 'it' is- talent? charisma? musicality? Whatever it is Matt has it in abundance and it makes him a joy to listen to and a pleasure to watch perform.
I doubt that a studio produced album will ever do him justice because part of what Matt has comes out of the performance and from the limited amounts I've seen of that, the X-factor, some you-tube clips, live performance is his forte. Singing live in front of an audience is his spiritual home and he drags you there too, until you're not just listening you're experiencing.
Having said that I think this album is amazing. It's one of those albums that slowly eeks its way into your consciousness. You'll like the tracks the first time you hear them, by the fourth or fifth listening you'll positively LOVE them! You'll have a favourite and then it will change because as you get to know each song you'll appreciate its personality, its quirks, you'll get caught up in the lyrics and the rhythms.
I think all of the songs on the album hang together really well and the only ones that do not fit are 'Run for your Life' and 'When We Collide', the ones Matt did not have a hand in writing. Its probably the first album I've ever bought where the two tracks on the cover that are supposed to make me want to buy it are actually the songs I like least. Not that I could dislike any song that Matt sings-(Please refer to my first two sentences.) Its just that they don't fit together as well as the others.
Matt is always going to take lots of unwarrented critisism because he was an X-Factor winner and there is some serious prejudice out there by people who've become famous the 'hard' way, and frankly some of it is justified- there's no way jedward deserve any success, but every successful singer or singer songwriter only makes it because someone gives them a break, and I don't think that getting a successful album because your demo CD impressed an A&R man at Sony is more difficult than the gruelling twelve week audition process, live public performance and vote that contestants are exposed to. So don't let your prejudice get in the way of listening to a fantastic album, sung by a very talented man.
I hope tha album is successful as Matt deserves success and a long and happy career. I'm disappointed that Sony tried to play safe by releasing a Gary Barlow written single and not one of the others from the album which I think would have done so much better.
Buy this album- give it more than one listen and you won't regret it.