2008's X Factor winner Alexandra Burke is putting her Heartbreak on Hold by becoming the executive producer of her second studio album, but the problem with this offering is its unrelenting desire to stick to generic standards, which only leaves me wanting to leave it on the back burner and watch it disintegrate into ashes.
I'm sorry for being harsh, but unlike Burke, I do not want to hold anything from listeners/readers and let them know that this album is barely worth listening to. Comprising of 12 tracks, most of which are dance-pop, Autotuned affairs, it really is a dime in a dozen on the charts these days.
Instead of channeling her inner Rihanna / Nicole Scherzinger, the British singer-songwriter should instead focus on creating her own image and song style. Single Elephant banks on the chorus which has been mangled by vocoders such that her voice is hardly recognizable anymore, not to say her voice is particularly as unique as fellow X Factor contestant Cher Lloyd's to begin with.
Between the Sheets is Burke's take on a sexualised ballad a la Rihanna's California King Bed, and while not as emotionally involved as RiRi was in the song, it is probably one of Burke's best performances on the album, shedding her stage mask and letting her insecurities flow into the melody. What Money Can't Buy is Burke's only must-listen in this album, stripped down and bared for all. The vocal technique on that song is crafted well and is delicate to the listening ear, enough to regenerate the same feeling from Alicia Keys' If I Can't Have You, so it's definitely a step up.
Overall, an unimpressive performance for a winner of one of the most popular talent shows on the planet right now. Guess it shows that winners do not really have it all, hey?
Track Cuts: Between the Sheets, What Money Can't Buy