The winner of last year's X Factor finally releases her debut album. 'Overcome' is a slick record that makes all the right noises and will appeal to those already enamoured with Burke's style. For people looking for more than just a British Jordin Sparks, however, it's somewhat lacking in originality.
The instances of TV talent show winners enjoying a long and fruitful career are far outweighed by those who enjoy their 15 minutes in the spotlight and perhaps a brief stint at number one with their debut single, before returning to their day-jobs as binman/window cleaner/pub singer. For those who followed The X Factor last year, Alexandra Burke wasn't exactly the personification of pop megastar. Sure she could blast out a powerful pop ballad, but did she have the charisma and likeability needed to sustain a career?
Her debut album is certainly packed with the right ingredients: polished production, the contributions of two big-hitters on the youthful r'n'b/rap circuit (Flo Rida and Ne-Yo), and of course, that version of 'Halle-bloody-lujah' that plagued the charts for weeks on end last year. 90% of the time, it's a winning formula. Yet, like Burke's X Factor performances, there's something missing from these songs to elevate them above the generic rhythm 'n' pop that's being peddled by the likes of Jordin Sparks et al.
Nevertheless, there are some smashing tunes here: the catchy 'Good Night Good Morning' makes the most of the same booming effect used by Kanye on 'Love Lockdown', while 'Bury Me (6 Feet Under)' and 'You Broke My Heart' are throwbacks to The Supremes that Duffy or Winehouse would sell their beehives for. Even the futuristic dancefloor filler 'Nothing But the Girl' and drippy ballad 'They Don't Know' are slicker than Simon Cowell's one-liners. As a debut album, 'Overcome' is a compact effort, but you can't help thinking that there are more satisfying, more talented performers out there.