• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Rebecca Ferguson: Freedom (Syco/RCA)

Rebecca Ferguson

Rebecca Ferguson



It's a relative thing, obviously, given the context, but pushed to choose my favourite X Factor/Britain's Got Talent/Voice UK album, it would be Heaven by Rebecca Ferguson. Sure, she was aiming for Amy and Macy and Motown, but those are better role models than the Xeroxed contestants who copycat each other week in, week out.

This makes follow-up album Freedom doubly disappointing. It only takes until track two, Fake Smile, before things hit a (nearly literal) false note via the synthesised instrumental texture that's slotted in where a proper soul-horn backing should be.

The determined move away from jazzier influences on her debut continues with My Best, where Ferguson stops channelling Aretha Franklin and settles for Heather Small instead. It's a synth-soul anthem (as are Beautiful Design and others) that hires Alexandra Burke's Hallelujah gospel singers to provide overstated back-up.

I usually like where she's coming from lyrically, particularly the stand-up-on-your-own stuff, but the fiercer, more forced delivery of the likes of My Freedom only ends up being less affecting. Perhaps this new direction will ensure her some sort of longer-lived arena status, but it's already damaging her reputation as a genuinely unique artist who was once a world away from other flash-in-the-pan reality-show wannabes.


Contextual targeting label: 
Arts and Entertainment

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.