Will Young - Keep On

2006-03-30 12:09

Young's third studio record gets the album off to an enthused start, with a techno-pop rhythm and brass instruments trumpeting anthem-like lyrics of its title track. Its the sort of song that makes you want to get up, grab your imaginary microphone and belt out the words in front of your mirror.

Toe-tapping beats compliment Young's cheesy lyrics themed around keeping on, pushing on, and making it through the tough times to the final destination you've been dreaming about. But just how many times can he realistically hammer home the better, harder, faster theme? For 53 minutes and 5 seconds apparently.

But just when you think you've heard as much as you can take (12 minutes into the album unfortunately) Young switches course. Listening to the jazzy, cabaret sound of "Aint Such a Bad Place", it's almost impossible not to picture the UK Idol in a black three-piece suit, with matching top hat and cane shuffling his feet to Fred Astaire choreography under a spotlight.

For some reason the 26-year-old Brit's latest album is reminiscent of 90s all-girl pop ensemble the Spice Girls. Understandably it would be considered a cardinal sin to compare Will Young to Scary, Baby, Ginger, Posh or Sporty Spice, but the very same pop foundations are unmistakable in both these UK acts.

A South American flavour seems to be a concurrent theme, with "Happiness" packing a great salsa punch. Not to be taken too seriously, this track is simply a silly song about (yes, you guessed it) happiness. Although the fizz pop and latin influences aren't glaringly obvious, I got the distinct feeling that many of these tracks could easily have been composed for Ricky Martin or even Marc Anthony.

If you're looking for a perfect wind down to a frantic day and need to get away from the pressures of modern life, then "Save Yourself" might just be what you're after.

Keep On might seem a bit thin on the lover's ballades. "Who I Am" and "All Time Love" offer average harmonies and predictable lyrics about broken promises, feelings of inadequacy and the notion that nobody's perfect, life needs to be lived and love is in fact real.

There's a little something for everyone here, but not a lot for anyone.

Sweetly "Home" concludes Keep On in great style, with its slow rhythm bringing you to the end of the journey through Will Young's new album. But sadly, if this is best the reality TV star has to offer, he's better off sticking to the ballades that made him big in the first place.

- Megan Kakora

Definitely not his best attempt, Keep On fails to inspire more than lukewarm feelings, but die-hard Will Young fans won't be too disappointed.

Jean 2006/02/03 11:50 AM
"Just Add TV" stars I minded the Just Add Water lot. I like a few of the Just Add Booze 'n Drugs stars (Robbie springs to mind, especially since he went off the booze and drugs). But the Just Add TV lot are frustrating and it's SO unfair on real musicians, who deserve the publicity a million times more.
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