James Arthur: James Arthur – review


On this debut contractual obligation to Simon Cowell, X Factor winner James Arthur sounds exactly like an X Factor winner. That is, unsubtle, unrelentingly emoting and singing every phrase with what sounds like that constipated, really-really-meaning-it face, apparently now as obligatory as the sob story. There's a drag of a duet with the nonetheless gorgeously voiced Emeli Sandé, an embarrassment of a song that includes the words "just pass the jazz cigarette" and throughout an excess of melisma, musical and lyrical cliches and a paucity of ideas. Only the closing and sole rap track, the brief but vehement Flyin', gives any indication of Arthur's personality.


Hermione Hoby

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Susan Boyle: The Gift – review
Susan Boyle's seasonal selection ranges from the pleasant to the sterile, says Hugh Montgomery

Hugh Montgomery

07, Nov, 2010 @12:05 AM

Article image
James Arthur review – brash pop and emo soul from X Factor comeback kid
Rising above past controversy, the Middlesbrough singer wears his heart on his sleeve and remains refreshingly and likably unfiltered

Dave Simpson

11, Oct, 2019 @9:00 AM

Article image
James Arthur scores fastest-selling single of the year
The X Factor winner's cover of Impossible sold almost half a million copies in its first week

Guardian music

17, Dec, 2012 @11:42 AM

Article image
Paul Morley on music
The 'new, improved' Simon Cowell is still light years away from understanding great music, says Paul Morley

Paul Morley

16, Oct, 2010 @11:05 PM

Little Mix: Salute – review
A military theme runs through this formulaic second album from the X Factor winners, but sadly most of it parades a lack of original ideas, writes Phil Mongredien

Phil Mongredien

10, Nov, 2013 @12:05 AM

Article image
James Arthur counts cost of offensive lyrics as iTunes offers refunds on album

Buyers seek to get money back following Twitter controversy prompted by lyrics to 'diss track' Hey Mickey

Sean Michaels

22, Nov, 2013 @12:30 PM

Article image
Top of the Pops: the return of the No 1 Christmas double act

Fearne Cotton and Reggie Yates may bicker, but they share an infectious enthusiasm for chart music, writes Tom Lamont

Tom Lamont

19, Dec, 2010 @12:02 AM

Article image
I Can't Sing! review – 'a show of eye-smartingly bad taste'

A girl with fried eggs for bosoms, a masturbating dog – there's nothing the director of this musical about The X Factor won't consider in pursuit of fun, writes Kate Kellaway

Kate Kellaway

30, Mar, 2014 @12:05 AM

Article image
Noel Gallagher judging The X Factor: what contestants should expect
If the guitarist/songwriter and Oasis founder does answer Simon Cowell's call, the put-downs will be worth tuning in for

Kathy Sweeney

13, Apr, 2013 @3:00 PM

Article image
Rewind TV: Mary and Martha; Lightfields; Food Glorious Food; Heading Out – review

It's hard to feel charitable towards Richard Curtis's mums-and-malaria drama, writes Phil Hogan. There was more bite in Simon Cowell's dog's dinner

Phil Hogan

02, Mar, 2013 @10:50 PM