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Released: 28th February 2005.

G4 - G4Steve might have got the more votes on the night, but it's clear that "X-Factor" runners up G4 are what everyone is talking about. Described as a "male vocal harmony group", Jonathan, Matthew, Michael and Ben met at university studying music, and they have the voices to prove it. The question is, do these voices really work on popular music?

There's nothing original on this album, as every track is a cover, and some of them are rather unlikely covers at that. "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Everybody Hurts" and "Life On Mars" are three sacred tracks that should never be covered. However G4 have taken each track and made it their own, the most bizarre layers of "Bohemian Rhapsody" included, and whilst it will have Radiohead fans cringing, their version of "Creep" isn't too bad either.

Then there's the classical pieces, the highlight of which clearly has to be "Nessun Dorma", the opera epic composed by Puccini and brought to fame in the early 1990s by Italian tenor supreme Luciano Pavarotti. There are a couple of weak moments on the classical side in form of two rather forgettable Josh Groban songs.

The star of this album is the vocal abilities rather than the abilities of songwriters, however, you can't help feeling that G4 don't quite do "Bohemian Rhapsody" as well as Queen, "Creep" as well as Radiohead, or even "Nessun Dorma" as well as Pavarotti. Still, it's far more interesting than the twee sickly singing of Il Divo.

* * * * (matthew_dixon)

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