Wide Awake

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jon O'Brien
Whereas Alexandra Burke and Leona Lewis have had little trouble making the transition from talent contest winners to chart-toppers, the male X-Factor winners have failed to make anywhere near the same impact. Steve Brookstein is an embarrassing footnote, Shayne Ward has gone AWOL since 2007's Breathless, and Leon Jackson was dropped just months after his debut spent only three weeks inside the Top 40. So last year's winner, Joe McElderry, has a pretty daunting challenge ahead of him if he's to avoid his predecessors on the pop scrapheap -- even more so due to the fact that his career didn't exactly have the most auspicious start, thanks to last year's astonishing Race ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jon O'Brien
Whereas Alexandra Burke and Leona Lewis have had little trouble making the transition from talent contest winners to chart-toppers, the male X-Factor winners have failed to make anywhere near the same impact. Steve Brookstein is an embarrassing footnote, Shayne Ward has gone AWOL since 2007's Breathless, and Leon Jackson was dropped just months after his debut spent only three weeks inside the Top 40. So last year's winner, Joe McElderry, has a pretty daunting challenge ahead of him if he's to avoid his predecessors on the pop scrapheap -- even more so due to the fact that his career didn't exactly have the most auspicious start, thanks to last year's astonishing Race Against the Machine Facebook campaign that denied him the Christmas number one. Just the uninspired choice of Miley Cyrus' "The Climb," tacked on here as a bonus track, could have sounded the death knell for his career before it even began. Luckily, the rest of Wide Awake isn't so obvious. There are cover versions aplenty, but for a change they aren't the usual karaoke standards. Instead, McElderry resurrects two of the best overlooked U.K. singles from 2009, the Scissor Sisters-esque jaunty piano rock of Nerina Pallot's "Real Late Starter" and Donkeyboy's "Ambitions," a number one in Norway for an incredible 12 weeks. Only Five for Fighting's huge American hit "Superman," here given a Daniel Bedingfield-style makeover, may be known to the legions of fans who voted for him to win last December. In fact, it's the original material here that sounds more suspiciously familiar. The infectious "Feel the Fire" certainly owes more than a passing nod to Alphabeat's guilty pleasure "Fascination"; "Someone Wake Me Up" borrows the backing track of Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" and the chorus of Taylor Swift's "Love Story"; and "Fahrenheit" is a falsetto-led electro number reminiscent of Mika's rather divisive first album. But for someone who was praised so vehemently for his live vocals, it seems bizarre that McElderry is unrecognizable through most of the album, thanks to its rather generous use of Auto-Tune. It's a trick that works on the Hi-NRG synth pop of "Until the Stars Run Out," but less so on the more acoustic "Smile" and title track, where his previous effortlessly warm tones sound strangely robotic. Wide Awake's unashamedly pure pop sound is undoubtedly a refreshing antidote to the usual clichéd balladry of previous male talent contest winners, but its lack of originality and unnecessary studio trickery mean it often struggles to capture the same charm and personality of his X-Factor performances.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/2/2010
  • Label: Sony Uk
  • UPC: 886976467722
  • Catalog Number: 7646772

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Ambitions (2:57)
  2. 2 Someone Wake Me Up (3:27)
  3. 3 Superman (3:41)
  4. 4 Real Late Starter (3:18)
  5. 5 Until the Stars Run Out (3:19)
  6. 6 Feel the Fire (2:59)
  7. 7 Fahrenheit (3:37)
  8. 8 Wide Awake (3:22)
  9. 9 Smile (3:22)
  10. 10 Love is War (2:27)
  11. 11 The Climb (3:36)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Joe McElderry Primary Artist, Vocals, Background Vocals
Nick Coler Synthesizer, Bass, Guitar, Percussion, Keyboards
Henrik Janson Conductor
Priscilla Jones Vocals, Background Vocals
Peter Ljung Piano, Keyboards
Keziah Jones Vocals
Nigel Butler Guitar, Keyboards
Esbjörn Öhrwall Guitar
Ray Hedges Percussion
Carol Riley Vocals
Nerina Pallot Background Vocals
Jamie Hartman Guitar, Percussion, Keyboards, Background Vocals
Charlotte Ollward Background Vocals
Emil Heiling Background Vocals
David Hodges Piano
Ladonna Harley Peters Vocals
Perry Montague-Mason Strings
Alex Reid Synthesizer, Guitar, Percussion
Candace Johnson Vocals
Emma Rohan Background Vocals
Johan Fransson Background Vocals
Tobias Lundgren Background Vocals
Marcus Johnson Vocals
Damon Wilson Drums
Johannes "Josh" Joergensen Guitar
Tim McEwan Vocals
Richard "Biff" Stannard Background Vocals
Bryon Jones Vocals
Althea Edwards Vocals
Heard But Not Seen Choir Choir, Chorus
Vanessa Addo-Yeboah Vocals
Brendon Guyatt Vocals
Tarna Johnson Vocals
Liam Keenan Background Vocals
Linda Borund Lindén Background Vocals
Daniel "Obi" Klein Percussion
Technical Credits
George Michael Composer
Nick Coler Programming, Producer, Engineer
Isobel Griffiths String Conductor
Henrik Janson String Arrangements
Sharon Vaughn Composer
Dick Beetham Mastering
Nigel Butler Composer, Producer, Vocal Producer
John Ondrasik Composer
Jeremy Bose Composer
Ash Howes Composer, Programming, Producer, Instrumentation
Tom Nichols Composer, Producer
Ray Hedges Composer, Producer, Vocal Producer
Blair Daly Composer
Neil Tucker Engineer
Quiz Producer, Engineer
John Harding Composer
Andreas "Quiz" Romdhane Programming, Instrumentation
Nerina Pallot Composer
Josef Larossi Programming, Instrumentation
Brian Howes Composer
Chris DeStefano Composer
Jamie Hartman Composer, Programming, Engineer, Vocal Producer
David Hodges Composer
Simen M. Eriksrud Composer
Alex Reid Composer, Programming, Engineer, Vocal Producer
Larossi Producer, Engineer
Yvie Burnett Vocal Coach
DEEKAY Arranger, Producer
Emma Rohan Composer
Johan Fransson Composer
Tobias Lundgren Composer
Tim Larsson Composer
Martin M. Larsson Composer, Programming, Engineer, Instrumentation
Ronan Phelan Engineer
Richard "Biff" Stannard Composer, Programming, Producer, Instrumentation
Matthew Shafer Composer
Tina Harris-Pampouneau Composer
Jon Mabe Composer
Lars Halvor Jensen Composer, Instrumentation
Jessica Alexander Composer
Lawrence Johnson Vocal Arrangements
Kent Sundberg Composer
Cato Sundberg Composer
Simone Larsen Composer
Steve Malcolmson Composer
Chris "Rockwell" Destefano Programming, Producer, Engineer, Instrumentation
Liam Keenan Composer
Henrik Göranson Composer
Ben Collier Composer
Sam Falle Programming
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