Meanwhile, Katy Perry’s hit, I Kissed a Girl, becomes more edgy and offers the listener a hint of sex appeal, a move which caused Reece’s teenage fans to go mad with desire.
Reece Mastin Rating: B+ Reece Mastin is the series three winner of The X Factor Australia, and the new heartthrob of teenage girls. His debut, self-titled album features his “winner’s single” and ten covers of songs he performed throughout the show. If you’re not familiar with Reece Mastin, he is a 16 year old who lived in England for ten years before moving to Adelaide, and dreams of becoming a rock legend. The reality television factor and his young age may turn you off this album, but I urge you to give it a go, because Reece can actually rock. The album starts with the winner’s single Good Night, a lightweight, pop rock tune about forgetting everything and enjoying your night out. It’s obviously written for the teenage audience, is filled with clichés, and is so catchy you’ll either be humming along or trying not to be sick. If you do find yourself feeling sickly after hearing this, hit the next button, not the off button, because the album picks up with the covers. Reece’s voice is mature beyond his years, and both high energy songs such as Paradise City and softer, more emotional songs such as She Will Be Loved are done brilliantly. The best cover is definitely Aerosmith’s Dream On. Reece nails all the falsettos, and it sounds as haunting as the original version. It is also nice to see a nod to his English roots with a cover of Bee Gee’s Stayin’ Alive. If you haven’t seen the show, then the album will offer some surprises, when Reece covers two songs originally by female artists. Alanis Morissette’s Ironic is turned into a full blown rock song. It jazzes up a classic without losing the original meaning to the song.
What lets the album down is the omission of his first audition song, Come Get Some. This was the song which wowed all four judges and ultimately gave him the boost into the competition and his career, so it is disappointing there is no version featured. This album could have turned into karaoke like many other debut albums from reality television singing shows, or become as cheesy as the Disney Channel. However, Reece Mastin has managed to insert a bit of flair and charm into the songs with his cheekiness and English accent. There is no doubt he can sing and deserved to win the competition. If you can get over the reality television and ten covers fact, this album sure does rock. Renee Simpson
boots but in your heart of hearts, you know they won’t be any good. Unfortunately however, I was lured into believing that Paul McCartney, a man of such musical magnificence, would not be ravaged by the passing of years. Having only recently given up pot, I figured he must still be young at heart. I expected that I would be in for some Beatle-esque piano ballads and classic McCartney bass lines, but come track one, I didn’t even recognise the voice. In fact I was so convinced that it was not McCartney singing, I had to consult Wikipedia to check it wasn’t a guest artist. It is only on a few tracks, particularly his original compositions, in which you can hear the old Paul shining through. Perhaps it was ignorant of me to expect his voice to be the same as it was forty years ago, but in saying that, I did expect to recognise it. If you look at other artists of the era; Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan or John Fogerty, sure their voices aren’t what they used to be but they are still so distinctive as to be instantly recognisable. The album itself, excellently titled Kisses on the Bottom, is largely a covers collection of old classic jazz tunes that McCartney grew up with. It also includes two new McCartney songs which feature guest musicians Eric Clapton and Stevie Wonder who unfortunately don’t provide vocals. Disappointingly, with the exception of just a few songs, most of the tracks tend to start sounding the same and ultimately merge into a long and dull selection of dusty jazz covers.
Paul McCartney – Kisses on the Botton Rating: B+ Twenty first century albums from old-timer music icons always evoke a mixed reaction within me. Perhaps the same feeling you would get hearing that you grandfather is taking up senior soccer. Yes it’s lovely that they are still adventurous at their age and yes it’ll be cute seeing them in their shin pads and
Highlights include the delightful showtuney Ac-Cent-Tchu-ate the Positive and Paul’s original album closer, Only Our Hearts which sounds like a wistful Disney story song. If you are a fan of McCartney’s Beatles or Wings work, don’t be buying this expecting more of the same. It’s long, boring, and almost unrecognisable old Paul trying on a pair of new shoes that don’t seem to fit. Avoid if you don’t wish to tarnish you memory of bowl cuts and grey suits. Matthew Cattin
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