World Idol was a truly dreadful TV show, but I'm glad I watched it as it introduced me to the brilliant Kurt Nilsen. While his first album fluctuated between excellent self-penned material and the standard cover-dirge that makes up most Idol contestants' first albums, A Part Of Me proves that Nilsen is a superb artist in every sense of the word.
Don't expect the standard Idol fare, there's no songs about "my dreams have come true", or "this is my moment", instead we have heart-felt songs with a surprisingly melancholy feel. Without actually saying so, you feel that much of this album is about the less-glamourous side of his new-found fame, including tales of home-sickness while on tour, his regrets, and the sense of shock at how rapidly his life changed. I'm probably making this sound like an album of indulgent self-pity, but such is the strength of Nilsen's songwriting, and the emotion in his voice that that is the last thing you could accuse the album of being.
I just wish the people behind The X Factor in the UK would look at Nilsen and realise that by letting their winners be themselves, rather than force-feeding them with dire crowd-pleaser songs, they might end up with artists they can be proud of, rather than flash-in-the-pan one-hit wonders.