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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 2 November 2011
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.
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on 31 October 2011
I love this album. It could have done with a few more upbeat songs, for example I would definitely have included the free download 'Sparks' - it topped the Amazon download charts for ages. (I cant believe such a fantastic song was thrown away like that!) Having said that though there are some really memorable tracks here, all co written by Matt C apparently - Starlight, Letters, Stars and Lovers, Amazing, Pull Me Under...there isnt actually a poor song on the album, though its so varied some will appeal more to different individuals than others. BTW Im not at all surprised by the review from the BBC guy Amazon have helpfully (not) put in the description section - Id have been astonished if he'd done anything other than sneer (with staggering unoriginality) at a male XF winner. To be honest I wouldn't have considered buying an XF album myself before this, which shows I've been as blinkered as anyone when it comes to pseudishness. But since seeing some YT of Matt C playing a couple of Scottish gigs a few weeks ago, watching the odd interview with him, (and reading some tabloid hatchet jobs too), I went for this , and I am very, very glad I did.

Reading some of the reviews here I dont quite get what people mean by 'overproduced'. Thats a really subjective thing. Whats overproduced for you isn't necessarily overproduced for me. Its like calling a steak thats done medium well - overcooked. It is, if you like your steak rare, but its not at all if you like it more... cooked! Matt C was always going to disappoint some people who wanted him to reproduce his Xf performances I guess (there are acoustic versions on the deluxe album by the way, if thats your preference- just matt + guitar) but being a big fan of Coldplay, Snow Patrol, Oasis, The Goo Goo Dolls - I love strings and sweeping production on some of the tracks. As I said I've also seen YTs of some album tracks done live (which led me here to buy) and they translate really well. In summary - I'm playing this non stop at the moment, interspersed with Coldplay and Noel. For me this is an addictive five star album.
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on 1 November 2011
If you are a Matt Cardle fan you will love Letters, no pun intended. Easy to listen to and he has such an amazing voice. He has been my all time favourite from X Factor and I highly recommend this album.
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on 17 October 2011
For me Matt Cardle is the artist I have enjoyed the most on the X-factor, a musician who can play sing and write his own instruments. The CD arrived today, and I placed it on my quite expensive CD player, and yuk, not the songs, they are well crafted and defiantly mature songs, this ain't no tiny bopper artist. However, five stars for the music, but i am seriously crying at the awful CD transfer it is awful, Addel 21 was pretty bad but this is at times distorted, clipping loosing all the warmth and quality an artist like this should have. What a shame, why do record companies do this. If people want MP3 quality download, it, but for the few of us left who still like that bit extra sound quality why can't the record companies just go back to the good sounding CD's before the loudness war. This sounds like it was mastered by a Muppet!.When rating this review please be assured Matt Cardle has released a great album its just a shame the quality of the transfer has been totally cocked up shame on you Sony.
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on 30 October 2011
Not a bad song, they are all beautiful and you can fully appreciate his voice.
amazing and I would recommend that anyone should buy it.
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on 12 November 2011
I loved Matt when he was on X Factor and was a worthy winner, but I have to admit I nearly didn't buy this album because of some negative reviews. That said I bought it and absolutely love it! Yes, it is a tad over produced(to be expected)which takes the rawness off his voice, however, "All For Nothing" is much more the real Matt, and similar in style to the music he made with Seven Summers. "Starlight" is my favourite track, and "Pull Me Under" is in the style of Robbie Williams/Take That. I suspect that Matt will move away from the mainstream and develop his own style as time goes by, X Factor having given him the platform that he needed.
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VINE VOICEon 8 March 2012
This has to be one of the most sincere singers I have heard for many years!

I don't give much time to new singers these days - much less talent shows and reality tv and so I had never heard of Matt Cardle. I caught him at the end of 'Loose Women' one afternoon (which I don't normally watch) as I waited for 'Judge Judy' - performing one of his songs, and I thought what an exciting and sincere singer this is! I then went straight on to Amazon feeling I'd like to hear more of this guy's original work, as I don't like covers, and played the samples from this album - and at the ridiculously low price of four pounds, just had to have it!

Normally in recent years after purchasing new CDs, I tend to listen once - maybe twice and put it aside, unlike years ago when a new album was played to death. However; this has definitely been different, as it's never been out of my player and/or in my CD rack! It's simply a masterpiece! Every song seems to belong on the album - and the order was perfect - except somehow 'Slowly' - the penultimate track seemed like the last one - then came another - the final one which was odd for some reason.

I admire singer/songwriters, and all of the songs are atmospheric, and have great lyrics. Some end quite abruptly - which is different. My favourite song of all (if I was forced to pick one - which is pretty tricky as all the songs are so good) would have to be: 'Pull Me Under'.

I was flabbergasted to find that this album peaked only at number two (should have been a chart-topper) and his singles do not seem to have done too well chart-wise either - people cannot know great music when they hear it...

What an exciting new singer - will definitely be buying his next album on the strength of this!
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on 9 November 2011
Matt Cardle has deliverd an amazing album and I'm not surprised one bit. He showed us his great songwriting skills in Seven Summers (also a great album worth checking out). Full of brilliant songs with big chorus', The vocals are perfect every time. Packed full of emotion, this album comes from Matt's heart. Check it out you wont regret it!
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on 22 October 2011
i never ever thought i'd buy a cd by an x-factor contestant but i did like matt cardle. he has an excellent(unique)voice, plays and writes his own stuff and he's paid his dues with bands in the past. so i thought i'd go against all my principles and purchase his album. and i'm very disappointed. its not an awful album but it lacks an identity. theres so much going on in the songs matts voice hasn't got the space to show the emotion and feel he is capable of. in short its overproduced, generic and just, well...too x-factorish. i've bought 2 albums recently by male solo artists in ben howard and marcus foster and they both shine, its a shame i can't say the same for this one.
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on 17 October 2011
Fantastic Album...It shows what Matt is all about, a brilliant songwriter and singer. If you are looking for cover songs then this is not the Album for you. Apart from RFYL, When we Collide, Starlight-which I have to say is a fabulous song- 10 out of the 13 tracks are written by Matt. Its a big thumbs up from me
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