Album Review : Diana Vickers – Songs From The Tainted Cherry Tree

Despite the ridiculously long title of this album and the fact that Diana didn’t even make it to the top three of the 2008 series of X Factor… what she has produced is rather surprising.

To be completely honest with you, I’ve never really been big on rejects from TV talent shows as they tend to come along with a single or album and then disappear for a couple of years before appearing on something like ‘I’m A celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here’ whilst other, hardworking musicians fail to ever get a shot at the charts.

Anyway, rant over… in all Diana has done The X Factor proud with her debut album of bubblegum pop tinged with her unique vocals, and with ‘Once’ currently sitting at the top of the UK album charts, she looks set to be more than just a one hit wonder.

To be honest with you, aside from Diana’s BFF, Ruth Lorenzo, I reckon she is by far one of the most interesting voices to come out of the show, and whilst a whole 13 songs of the nasal drawl can get a little intense – I had to keep taking a break and putting some Joshua Radin on – she is, most certainly taking a generically overdone pop record to a new place.

The thing is, this album isn’t groundbreaking in the slightest; it has the same hyperactive pop music tracks littered with a couple of slow ballads but Diana’s unique voice, just makes it a little special.

After getting through ‘ Once’ which I’ve heard about 100 times already, I am convinced I have heard the hook of ‘Remake Me & You’ before, I just can’t put my finger on where no matter how much I rack my brains!
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Standing out head and shoulders about the rest has to be the track, /Put It Back Together’ which is quite beautiful… it reminds me of something Bo Bruce and Tommy Reilly might come up with if they had to pen another duet for their TV talent show. It’s well worth checking out if you’re still not convinced by the pop market ‘safety’ Diana employed with debut single “Once.”

‘You’ll Never Get To Heaven’ is sadly a little overworked and over-synthed for my liking, but that’s probably because electro-pop is one of the music genres I tend to run away from as quickly as possible. That said, when Diana ditches the background buzz on ‘Me & You’ I’m not completely taken with that either… it’s a pretty little song, proving that this lady can turn her voice to all aspects of music… but it’s the “Me & you, stuck like glue” line which just ruins the whole track for me.

‘My Hip’ is another electro-pop track which – as much as I hate to say it – I envisage giving Diana another Number One single, I can imagine my little cousin Ellie and all her mates putting their extensions in and getting ready for a party at Escapade with this on repeat. I did tap my foot a few times, but that’s all you’re getting Vickers.

‘Hit’ just doesn’t seem to ever get going for me, whilst ‘Notice’ develops from a slow-moving opening to beautifully moving chorus as Di warbles on about someone who never notices her… I know where you’re coming from there love. This track is one that would undoubtedly be one I sing in the mirror with the hairbrush, you know, if I did stuff like that.

Closing the album is the almost ethereal track, ‘Chasing You’ which I really don’t think could sound as magnificent if sung by anyone else. She really has surpassed herself here – we all knew she could sing, but this track is phenomenal from ‘a girl off the telly.’

Simon Cowell quite rightly described Diana’s singing voice as “Marmite”, and it really is the case with this album, but then again, so does Florence Welsh and she’s doing alright for herself.

So, for an album that slips from fizzy cola bottle tunes to hot chocolate ballads quite effortlessly Diana Vickers can be proud of what she’s brought to the musical table. Whilst this review might seem to be sitting of the fence, that’s only because the weaker tracks bring down the handful of incredible tracks from Miss Vickers.

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