Has the Pop Idol phenomenon run out of steam? Michelle McManus is its weakest winner yet, an oversized Glaswegian hotel manager with a booming voice and not much else in the talent department. Her record label are clearly determined to turn her into a full-fledged diva, giving her debut album the glossy production treatment and drafting in such old hacks as Gary Barlow and Cathy Dennis to provide the songs. Sadly, the project is sunk by McManus's vocal performances, which never rise far above the level of a very average club singer. Her debut single 'All This Time' is a triumph of hype over substance while her cover of Nina Simone's 'Feeling Good' lacks the sassiness of the version she performed on television. For all her pluckiness, Michelle's only real achievement here is to make Will Young and Alex Parks look like worldbeaters by comparison. Ditching that surname may well turn out to have been a trifle premature.
Review by | 09:00 | Monday 23rd February 2004 | Album Review