Review: Jack Foley
HE'S been dubbed the original Pop Idol, given that he's been
around since the Seventies, so it's little wonder to find that
Donny Osmond's latest long-player is a particularly wretched affair.
Ballad-laden, to the point of being sickening, What I Meant
To Say is designed to continue Osmond's comeback following
the success of his 2002 effort, Somewhere In Time.
Instead, it merely serves as a reminder of why the whole Pop
Idol thing ought to be abandoned, outright.
Owing much in style to the safe pop style of latter-day George
Michael, the album even goes so far as to cover one of the former
Wham! star's best records in a seriously lamentable fashion.
You'd think that Osmond might have a little more to bring to
a recording session, but even his PR is curiously light on insights
into his inspirations.
It boasts the claim that What I Meant To Say marks Donny's
debut as a singer-songwriter, proudly stating that he has written
ten out of the 14 tracks on the album.
It also states that, through his time spent working with former
Take That star, Gary Barlow, and Eliot Kennedy, he discovered
an unorthodox method of songwriting that helped to produce his
recent single, Breeze on By.
"We would start writing each song in my studio at home,
which overloooks my swimming pool," he states. "Then
I'd pipe the first verse and the chorus through the speakers that
surround the pool and we'd all jump in and write the second verse
in the water."
Impressive? Or merely a lame excuse to brag about Donny's home
Unfortunately, it would seem that originality was drowned in
the pool, for this is hopelessly generic stuff.
Imagine the worst Pop Idol album, packed with one tireless ballad
after another, punctuated only by the odd cover version - done
George Michael's Faith, for instance, has been slowed
down and completely ruined, while Foreigner's I Wanna Know
What Love Is has been given a painful makeover - as if done
by a Vegas lounge singer.
The new material isn't much better, sticking rigidly to a bland
formula that is supposedly designed to make the housewives' swoon.
And to cap it all, there's even a woeful festive offering, in
the form of Christmas Time, which is supposed to warm
the heart; but which chills to the bone instead.
What I guess I'm trying to say is avoid this like the plague!