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Released: 18th March 2002.

Gareth Gates - Unchained MelodyPop Idol fever has certainly captured the nation. Following the huge success of winner Will Young's debut single and the over-success of Rik Waller's tacky rendition of "I Will Always Love You", comes the eagerly awaited debut single from runner up Gareth Gates. This admittedly fails to live up to all expectations, but nevertheless, succeeds in proving his talent and potential in the music industry. Ironically, if pre-sales figures are anything to go by, it could even be this runner up who ends up as the Pop Idol winner.

* * * * (DS)

After the phenomenon that was Pop Idol, and the incredible hype that was Will Young, the limelight now falls on runner up Gareth. If you have a fine voice you can't go wrong with "Unchained Melody". Gareth has, so why does he sound so lifeless and bored here? A third-rate version which makes the Robson & Jerome version sound positively uplifting.

* * (Robert Reay)

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