It was a bit of a risky endeavour, keeping Leon Jackson locked away for ten months after his X Factor victory last December. Although the same tactic was employed with the previous year's winner, Leona Lewis, there was a distinct lack of similar hype surrounding Jackson's win. And let's face it - being called 'The Next Michael Buble' doesn't quite have the same ring to it as 'The Next Whitney Houston'. Nonetheless, it's taken almost a year for the wee Scottish Rat Pack-loving mite to release his debut album, and perhaps it's done him good; the unremarkable, sometimes-anaemic-voiced singer is now an unremarkable, robust-voiced one.
OK, perhaps that's a far-too-damning exposition of an album that's not at all terrible. Indeed, fans of Buble's smooth, laconic swing-pop numbers will probably love this young pretender to his throne, as there are oodles of tunes to click your fingers to, and even more for the ladies to swish their '50s-style skirts at imaginary cocktail parties. There's crooning a-plenty, best heard on the uptempo numbers (Creative, Right Now, the debatably-sinister Fingerprints ("Baby all I wanna do is leave my fingerprints on you"). There's also a number of cheesetastic ballads with impressive, if predictable, instrumentation - A Song for You and his stylish cover of You Don't Know Me, the best of the bunch.
There's something missing, though, an inherent, crucial element that will make the casual observer give a damn about Leon Jackson. Is it the fact that some of these songs are melodically weak, particularly generic lead single Don't Call This Love and the George Michael-covers-Bon-Jovi's 'Please Come Home for Christmas' vibe of All In Good Time? Or is it the sheer horribleness of the trite, manipulative ode to Scotland Caledonia, where Jackson conveniently locates his native brogue and turns in a tacky performance The Proclaimers would be proud of? Och, it doesn't matter what it is; the 19-year-old simply doesn't have enough stylistic diversity to sustain a career past this album, anyway.