Kate Earl – Kate Earl
There are plenty of female artists channeling Feist and Regina Spektor these days, but Kate Earl is approximately 10 million times better than all of the others. Unlike her competitors, she has not just a handful of good songs but a whole album of amazing ones, and a truly lovely voice as well. If there’s any American artist I can see taking over the world in 2010, it’s Kate Earl. Her music is very radio-friendly but it’s also extremely poptastic and quite moving too. It’s impossible to choose a favourite as the album is so consistent, but I recommend checking out the clips on her MySpace as a great taster. Then buy this album!
Alexandra Burke – Overcome
When Alexandra won X Factor I was really excited – her performances of songs like Toxic on the show suggested that her eventual album would be far more fun than previous winners’, and thanks to Leona’s recent success, Alex had the opportunity to work with some amazing producers. The RedOne tracks on Overcome are indeed some of its highlights, but they’re far from Red’s best. It is a good album, but spoiled a little by inconsistency. The Ne-Yo duet is terrible and should certainly not be the second track, but songs like Dumb and Broken Heels are pure pop brilliance. The album is very ‘now’ but that may well be its failing, as it ends up lacking personality and I find myself wondering how long Alex’s career will last.
The Saturdays – Wordshaker
Of course the Saturdays album has been around for a while now, but I have to mention how much I’m enjoying it. I listened to Chasing Lights once and found it completely pointless, with the exception of the two poptastic singles Up and If This Is Love, but Wordshaker is a huge improvement. My favourites include the Ace of Base-esque 2am, super-catchy Lose Control and next single, Ego. I’d still prefer a new Girls Aloud album, as nothing beats the Xenomania sound, but I’m pleased to see Ina Wroldsen and Quiz & Larossi returning to provide us with even better songs than the hits they gave us on Chasing Lights.