Never Been Better
A pop triumph for the barefooted kooky one from 2008 X Factor.
Simon Cowell described this Lancashire teen as a Marmite artist when she appeared on the X Factor. Two years later having her debut single chart at number one she’s the toast of the nation (ho, ho).
Having bided her time and appeared in West End musical Little Voice, Vickers has seen her fellow competitors Alexandra Burke and JLS dominate the charts and may have worried that her moment had past. Far from it.
Catchy and just offbeat enough, Once is the perfect 2010 pop single but more stunning is that it’s matched throughout this debut by songs that are commercial without sacrificing her slightly eccentric charms. Her breathy vocal delivery isn’t to everyone’s tastes but here it has songs that suit it well.
There are a couple of mum-pleasers, Four Leaf Clover is the kind of wafting ballad that would work well with a slideshow of wedding photos. But where the album works best is when it’s mixing beats with folky whisperings. It also triumphs when it combines epic Snow Patrol-style ballads like Put It Back Together and Chasing You, with jerky synth-pop like the Sugacubes cover Hit, Remake Me And You.
The girl’s done great.