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Released: 8th April 2002.

Pop Idol - The Big Band AlbumAdmit it, you were hooked by Pop Idol, weren't you? And why not? There's nothing to be ashamed of, it was a great series packed full of very talented singers (and some not so talented). On this album you'll find thirteen of these super smooth classics from goodness knows how long ago.

The album starts off strong with the deserved winner Will Young singing "Beyond The Sea", originally by Bobby Darin. He can sing and he makes every song he sings different to the original. Track two is "Get Happy", sung by Zoe Birkett (who has three tracks on the album, more than Will and Gareth), and it's probably the strongest song on the whole album.

The infamous Darius Danesh comes next with "Let There Be Love", originally sung by Nat King Cole. Love him or hate him, he has a really distinctive voice and does the song as well as Nat King Cole did (according to Pete Waterman anyway). He has a good chance of making a long career for himself because his core audience will probably be the same as Ronan Keating's (women in mid-life crisis).

The one everyone thought would win, Gareth Gates, sings track four "Mack The Knife" (Bobby Darin again). I've never quite been able to understand why everyone thinks he's so fantastic; I don't particularly like this song very much either.

Our Euro Idol Jessica Garlick sings "Ev'rytime We Say Goodbye", which she chose to sing to her boyfriend Owen. The song is probably one of the weakest on the album in my opinion, but she has a fantastic voice and really does the song justice.

Zoe Birkett returns on track seven with "I've Got You Under My Skin" and it again really shows her voice off. She's definitely the most suited to singing big band songs. The Brummie, Hayley Evetts, gave one of her best performances in the series when she sung "That Ole Devil Called Love Again", and that's track eight.

"I Won't Dance" is probably the most boring track on the album, so why did they give that to Will Young? He does it well, but this is the track I always skip. Then it's Korben (real name Chris Niblett) with "Night & Day". Again, not a particularly good song, and I think he tries too hard to sound like a big band singer.

Track eleven is sung by my favourite, the extreme reaction-provoking Rosie Ribbons, responsible for the infamous performance of "The Winner Takes It All". which I'm sure you'll remember as one of the worst of the whole competition. The song she sings is "Cheek To Cheek", and she does it very well, making it one of the better songs on the album.

"They Can't Take That Away" by my least favourite, Laura Doherty, is next. Not a particularly good song, and one I tend to skip. The final track is "Oh Look At Me Now". This is a lovely duet by Gareth and Zoe, and is the perfect song to end the album with.

On the whole, this is a very good album and will make a nice change to your CD collection. I would recommend it to anyone who isn't a total rock snob!

* * * * (Ben Cook)

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