Wide Awake

Joe McElderry

Released: 25 October 2010

Genre: Pop

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He's just an ordinary Joe

We last heard from last year's X Factor winner Joe McElderry when the diminutive Geordie saw his hopes of a Christmas number one dashed by the fiendish (and hugely enjoyable) Rage Against The Machine Facebook campaign.

McElderry has had a year to lick his wounds, and although this debut album's squeaky lead single Ambitions last week stiffed at number six, the early indications are that Wide Awake is likely to be a sales monster.

It's hard to understand why, as the vast majority of the tracks are the expected anodyne, written-by-committee post-X Factor fodder. The upbeat pop anthems such as the Mika-lite Real Late Starter are better than the dreary ballads like the title track, but mostly this mediocre album erases itself from your mind even as it is playing.

It ends with an excruciating trudge through Miley Cyrus's The Climb which confirms Joe McElderry as the archetypal X Factor winner: OK voice, bags of drive, and utterly zilch by way of personality.

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