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The versatile Mark Owen
on 4 December 2012
It's a shame that Take That member Mark Owen's third (and so far last) album was a commercial failure, falling under the top 75 in the UK - I'm torn between which one of his two strongest solo albums is the best, 'In Your Own Time' (2003) or 'How The Mighty Fall' (2005).
Despite it's lack of chart success, it has to be said that the high profile Take That reunion, which ultimately overshadowed this solo release from someone who far from reached the heights of Robbie, or even Gary Barlow, couldn't have helped matters in the slightest.
However, little Mark proves once again that he is a great singer who can write good songs, both quirky and emotional. I would probably say that this is more of a rock album that his other two (his top 40 debut 'Green Man' was distinctly Britpop, and 'In Your Own Time' was Pop/Rock), but it's hard to categorise his records for sure, because there is much variety. The only thing that tracks like the off-the-wall 'Waiting for the Girl', and the bouncy single 'Believe in the Boogie' have in common in terms of musical style is the same distinctive, high-pitched voice.
All of the tracks on this one are worth repeated listens, 'Sorry Lately' is one of my favourites but the song that really impresses me is the flop single 'Hail Mary', with it's big production, but ultimately a gentle ballad, and one of Mark's all time greatest songs that really should have been a huge hit for the baby-faced man. The one single that was a sizeable hit (briefly dipping into the top 30) was 'Making Out', which was the real feel-good pop song here, and another standout. In a fair world, it should have become an anthem for the summer.
If you enjoy Mark Owen as a solo artist, then this album (ultimately his least successful) is something of a real work of art, and well worth the price you may have to pay for what is currently something of a rarity.