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on 3 November 2012
Like other reviewers I was so looking forward to this new release by Matt.There are some great reviews giving lots of details about the incredible collection of tracks but I have to add that this whole cd is simply stunning and a wonderful example of how talented this young man is. He wrote all the songs himself bar the mesmerising "First Time" and plays all sorts of instruments. Matt had such an unfair deal with Simon Cowell and co after the X Factor(who gave all their energies to One Direction instead) and as for those people who simply write off anyone from the X Factor....well leave your prejudice at home and just listen to him sing. His voice is sublime and his talent is outstanding. Like millions of other fans I went to one of his live tour shows this year and I can only say the whole audience was on its feet just as it was at every other venue. Critics who say the X Factor "hides singing weaknesses through electronics" would have to eat their words if they heard him live.....he is faultless.

I loved "Letters" but I think he has turned back to his earlier and true roots a little more with "The Fire". If you have his "Seven Summers" cd you will know what I mean. Every track is great, "Water"...... well words fail me, it is exquisite. Fabulous, fabulous cd.
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on 3 November 2012
Apart from a cover version of "When We Collide", and a song Gary Barlow knocked out, Cardle's first album was a disappointing and forgettable exercise in over-production that showed that if you don't fit into the Syco pop poppet mould they haven't got a clue what to do with you. It did look like Matt had used up his fifteen minutes of fame on the game show that saw Rebecca Ferguson and a One Direction trail in his wake.
Then, Matt Cardle only goes and records what is a damned fine album of songs that defy you to skip over them. On first listen I thought the lad had been listening to U2, by the time the songs were on my iPod I was thinking that maybe U2 should be listening to him.
The song I love the most on this album is "Empire", which wouldn't sound out of place if it were mid-way through "The Best of James".
"Lately", is a gospel tinged reminder why people fell in love with that voice in the first place, many singers have used a falsetto vocal with varying degrees of success but I don't recall any before doing so and keeping the ability to convey a this level of emotion.
"All That Matters" and "Water" are delicate and beautiful in a way that brings to mind British singer/songwriters like Tom Mcrae and Tom Baxter.
I could live without the cover of Pete Seeger's "The First Time Ever I saw Your Face", this is an excellent version but it does seem a bit out of place on this set.

The opening line of this album is, "It's a kick in the head" and it really is quite a shock to have a Matt Cardle album that lives up to the promise. It represents the best nine quid I have gambled this year. When I eventually stop playing "The Fire" constantly, something I haven't done since David Gray's " White Ladder", I will revisit the "Letters" album and imagine what it would have been like if Cardle had been left to his own devices.
I recommend the album to anyone who is looking for intelligent songs incredibly well sung, and if you can't let your credibility suffer by being seen to own an album by an X Factor winner... you may have just discovered a new secret guilty pleasure.
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on 1 November 2012
Still love this album as much as when I first bought it. Such a diverse mix of styles, it's the best album Ive heard in a long time. Anyone Else is a great dance track. All That Matters a beautiful emotional stripped back ballad. Lately one of my personal favourites, starts with a simple violin and piano but builds into a huge gospel choir sound, although it's just Matt and James Walsh, Starsailor frontman who Matt wrote the song with, but sounds like a choir. There are even some fantastic rocky tracks, For Every Heartbreak and a great bonus track on the deluxe version, Your Somebody. Matt has an incredible vocal range which he uses to full effect on this album. His falsetto is breathtaking but it's not over used, his voice is velvety smooth and rich, delivery his genius emotional lyrics to stunning effect. To sum up, if you love a real mix of styles, genius lyrics, stunning vocals, great real music played on real instruments, mostly by Matt himself, you'll love The Fire.
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on 2 November 2012
What an album.

This album (more than Letters) showcases Matt's songwriting and vocal talents. Released from the shackles of the X-Factor machine, Matt has delivered a fantastic album that deserves repeat listens. Water is the standout track for me. It is full of raw emotion. All the way through, the lyrics are strong, the performances tight and Matt's voice is incredible. You will fall in love again with that effortless falsetto. The big bonus for me was that this includes The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face. Isn't that perhaps the reason why we all fell in love with him in the first place?

A MUST purchase even if you only have a passing interest.
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on 30 October 2012
I have to admit to be being 'slightly' biased as a fan of Matt Cardle, but I genuinely believe this album is his best work yet. It's much more upbeat than the ballad heavy Letters despite many of the songs being inspired by the breakdown of a relationship. I admire Matt's courage in going to an independent label so that he could have control over the output. The shackles are off and it really shows. He still wears his heart on his sleeve but that's part of what makes Matt Cardle the wonderful singer songwriter that he is. It's very hard to pick a favourite and there isn't a single track that I'll be skipping - always a sign of an excellent album.
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on 22 January 2013
Matt Cardle is very talented. This CD album showcases that talent from upbeat to ballads. He writes his own songs, produces and plays instruments. His voice has an unusual ethereal quality but he is one of the rare artists who can sing! I have followed Matt's career from painter/decorator - struggling musician to now. I remember his debut single which went to number one, then bought his debut CD album which was also extremely good and in the top 10.I think Matt is going from strength to strength and if this is only a second CD for a man in his early 20's what will he be like when he reaches his 4th CD? I predict good things for Matt Cardle - he already has had one sell out tour. So as a Cd I would recommend.
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on 30 October 2012
This album rocks, has soul, is supremely funky and even bluesy at times. It doesnt just defy genres it has become its own genre....Matt Cardle and it is a super collection of well crafted tracks that should appeal to everyone. If there is any justice this album should show his critics how popular his music will become. I am happy to have discovered his music but he deserves to be listened to by more people. That he will end up being liked by these people is a foregone conclusion.
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on 30 October 2012
Was looking forward to hearing this after seeing Matt split from Simon Cowell's clutches and produce an album that he wanted to make and you can really tell, it's fantastic! So much more upbeat and catchy than his last album with an array of different sounds from Every Heartbreak which sounds like it could have been off his pre x factor bands album to the superbly dark Water and awesome Empire. A really great album, well done Matt!
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on 14 June 2013
8 or 9 months after first getting 'The Fire', I listen to at least a couple of tracks every day. Can't say that about many other albums. My favorite track changes all the time, from 'Empire' to 'Water' to 'Somebody'. Having gone through a terrible few months with 3 family members and a close friend all dying in a short space of time, the lyrics to 'Every Heartbreak' have really helped me get through. "I was coming undone, but now I'm coming up swinging, Seemed like the end, but it's only the beginning." The incredible layered vocals that Matt did for 'Lately' and 'Anywhere' always leave me in awe of his production. Seven Summers, Letters and the Fire, three of my all time favorite albums.
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on 30 October 2012
Having been so impressed by Matt's pre Xfactor work with Darwyn and Sevensummers, Letters came as a big disappointment to me. It was clear from first listen that the production had been taken out of his hands.

I am beyond delighted to be able to say that, with The Fire, we at last see Matt "Taking the Wheel" Matt has had full control of every aspect of The Fire, and My Goodness doesn,t it show!!!

Fantastic album, from the hauntingly beautiful Water, and simple but heartfelt All That Matters, to The intoxicating Lately, the wonderfully catchy soft rock Its only Love, The Fire, For every heartbreak, The anthemic Empire and even a little Micheal Jackson inspired pop song!!

All in all Pure Class!!
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