Who is Leon Jackson? ..And what is 'Right Now'?
Winning at just 18-years old, Leon Jackson remains the youngest champion of the X-Factor ever, following his trumphant in the 2007 season of the show. Although that is a farcry from the middle-aged Steve Brookstein, the original winner of the show, unfortunately their careers are already heading in the same direction. As a wee Scottish lad, Leon managed to capture his home country, which saw him defeating Welsh man Rhydian in the public vote. Those who followed his journey will know that one of Leon's favourite artists is Michael Buble, and his genre of music is described as a mixture of jazz and soul. This is a first for an X-Factor winner, as previous Boys catagorey winner -- Shayne Ward -- has so far released two albums with a much more 'pop' feel than the music we have heard from Leon.
It was never going to be easy to follow up winning the competition after Leona Lewis, however the decision was taken to keep Leon underwraps and spend ten-months working on his debut album after the initial success of his winners song, 'When You Believe'. The album has only managed to peak at #4 in the UK charts, which has raised questions as to whether keeping the cute gap toothed star out of the public eye for so long was good for his career. Critics have described debut album, 'Right Now', as one that is unlikely to appeal to anyone out of his immediate fanbase but have not completely damned the whole project.
What about the tracks?
01, Don't Call This Love (4.11)
02, Creative (3.56)
03, Stargazing (4.13)
04, All in Good Time (3.43)
05, Right Now (2.19)
06, You Don't Know Me (4.05)
07, Ordinary Days (4.09)
08, A Song for You (3.25)
09, Fingerprints (3.40)
10, Could Do Better (4.18)
11, Misty Blue (3.40)
12, Caledonia (3.34)
13, When You Believe (4.14)
As I am not a true Leon Jackson fan, I feel it would be unfair for me to rate either track individually as I would under normal circumstances. What I can do is offer up an honest opinion as though I say... say... a Ray Quinn fan. Remember him? 'Don't Call This Love' was the first track to be released from the album, and although it was good to see an X-Factor winner returning to the industry, I was surprised by just how black and white they had made him. The track had such little success, it was even outsold by Peter Kay's spoof record and fell out of the charts from there. Not a good omen. If this is an original track though, which I think it is, I have to praise them for putting in the effort to actually pen something new.
'Creative' shall be the second track taken from the album, and although not physically released yet the track has entered our charts at #94. The first thing that striked me about this was that it reminds me just how distinctive Leon's vocals are, and that they don't sound as though they should be coming out of someone as young as him. This is further compounded by the fact that the music style he is peforming is piling the years on top of him. 'Creative' is more up tempo than his previous release, and is all about the swing, but the appearance (for those that have seen the video) is just as 1950's as what didn't work for him on his last release.
If you're concerned by this point that Leon Jackson is going to have a short lived career that doesn't even span as long as Gareth Gates, you could be correct. 'Stargazing' goes back to ballad territory and at this point I am concerned that whilst things look at though they are polished for presentation, I feel that polish is trying to cover up the fact that there is no content here. Perhaps Leon Jackson's favourite genre just isn't relevant to the current music industry, 'All in Good Time' would support such a comment.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but 'Right Now' is the first on the list of cover songs to make their way on to the album. The track was most recently covered by the Pussycat Dolls, so it was interesting to see if Leon could sex it up to anywhere near the same level. Need I answer? 'You Don't Know Me' is another cover, although it's not the track I thought it was going to be. This is actually a song that Leon originally sung on the live X-Factor shows, how he got through the public votes singing tracks like this I'm not sure I'll ever know. The standard must have been a lot lower that year.
I apologise to anyone that is reading this review and is getting fed up with my Leon bashing, but to be honest we're only half way through and unless Leon's genre of music is suddenly going to change I doubt things are going to get any better. Having made all the comments I have made, I remember that Leona's debut album wasn't that great until it got the American treatment to make it more relevant. If you're say, an older woman that enjoyed Leon Jackson, this maybe the perfect background music on Christmas day after lunch. 'Ordinary Days' is another unmemorable Leon Jackson original.
'A Song for You' is a cover of a 70's track that is apparently about a plea for forgiveness towards an estranged lover, that has also been sung by Elton John and Whitney Houston. So at least Leon is in good company. 'Fingerprints' allows Leon to keep to his favourite style of music, but brings things more youthful with his lyrical content about young love. Although the idea of leaving fingerprints on a lover confuses me slightly, and when I think of fingerprints on a body I'm thinking about a crime scene. If 'Could Do Better' is an original, it's the last on the album and you know... the whole big band sound, I'm starting to give it to. Don't worry though, Leon hasn't completely brainwashed me and this track will not be making its way on to my iPod. I think the production of this track is the best on the entire project though.
'Misty Blue' was originally a 1960's country song, however in 1998 the track was covered by Monica as part of the 'Boy is Mine' album. The track has even in the past charted high up on the Billboard, although when I say past... I am talking years. I feel that with this track the problem isn't so much that Leon is doing a cover, it's that he's not adding anything to it. I do doubt how much Simon Cowell actually cares about making a success from Leon, he clearly wasn't the winner he was looking for. 'Caledonia' is a Scottish folk ballad written in the 70s, and I presume this is supposed to be a treat for those back home who voted for him.
Finally, many will remember 'When You Believe' as it dominated the charts following Leon's win last year. There is something catchy about when these winners tracks are released, but you just know in a few years time it will be included in a chart of turkeys. The track was originally a duet by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, and is the most pop sounding track on the enitre project. I presume this has something to do with it not being Leon's choice to sing it, even though it's a much better image for him.
Where does Leon go from here?
In all honesty, without a severe style change I can not see there being a follow-up album. I am sure by releasing this album Leon has lived his dream, but I can see him coming crashing down to reality unless his label can dress him up and find him something new to sing. 'Right Now' rightfully had no impact on the album charts, although for the effort I'll spare him the embarrassment of one star. Because we all know Leon Jackson hangs off my every word, right?
I wasn't a very big fan of Leon when he was on The X Factor (I was backing Rhydian), but I heard a few of the tracks from this album on Youtube and decided to buy it.
Having heard all of the album, I am surprised that Don't Call This Love was chosen as the lead single as I personally feel that there are better songs on the album that are more radio-friendly, such as Creative, Fingerprints and Ordinary Days. This appeal will probably appeal to fans of Michael Buble, as there are some strong vocal similarities between the two, and many of the tracks on Right Now fall into the jazz/swing category (Creative, All In Good Time and Right Now are the most obvious examples of this). Mixed in with this is a handful of tracks that demonstate Leon's rich vocals, such as his covers of A Song For You and You Don't Know Me (he performed the latter on The X Factor in one of the themed weeks prior to this win). Overall, this is a much better album than I was expecting, especially as I am not usually a fan of this genre of music.
If I'm honest , I don't understand how Leon managed to get to the live shows of the X Factor , never mind win the competition. I was positive that Rhydian would be the one taking the crown, but of course it was Leon that won the one million pound record deal. So a year on (nearly) , and Leon is back with his debut album. I liked his debut single 'When You Believe' but I didn't really like him , although when I heard he had a new album out , I didn't exactly rush out to buy it , but I was slightly curious about whether or not it would be as a big a hit as Leona Lewis' 'Spirit'. So when my friend (who is quite a big fan) told me she had bought his album and loved it , I asked her if I could borrow it to see if I thought the same.
* Who Is Leon Jackson ? *
Well as I have already mentioned Leon won the fourth series of the British talent show the X Factor in December 2007.
Leon Jackson was born on December 30th 1988 in Whitburn , Scotland. He is an only child and was brought up by his mother, as his father left his mother when he was two years old. Sadly his father died of a severe case of pneumonia in 2005.
According to Leon , he only started singing a few months before his first X Factor audition , when his friends forced him to take part in a Karaoke competition.
Leon's style of music comes under the pop , adult contemporary and jazz genres.
Right Now is the debut album from Leon. The CD was released in the United Kingdom on October 20th 2008. There are thirteen tracks on the album , the thirteenth track being a bonus track : When You Believe.
* Don't Call This Love *
This is the first single to be released off the album. It doesn't start off brilliantly , but it gets a bit better and you think it's going to be good but then it goes back to been poor again. It's an odd song really. This song lacks emotion from Leon ; it could be better. This is such a boring song to listen to , it doesn't really reach it's peak. I can't believe it reached number three in the British singles charts.
* Creative *
This is one of the best songs on the album. I don't know why this wasn't the leading single off the album ; it's a lot better than Don't Call This Love. His voice sounds good on this track ; he sounds really mature. This song is very jazzy and extremely catchy.
* Fingerprints *
I like this song ; it's quite relaxing to listen to and it would also make a good song for a 'slow dance' at a party.
* Star Gazing *
Quite an usual song with cheesy lyrics. One of my least favourite tracks.
* Song For You *
This is a cover of Leon Russell's song. It has also been recorded many times by many different artists. I have only heard a few versions of this song ,but I must say that this is one of my favourites. I think it's the piano that makes this song what it is , and I like how the orchestra comes in half way through the song. A good song.
* Could Do Better *
This is a great song ; I like the up-beat-ness of it and this song really suits his voice. I think this is my favourite track on the album.
* My Overall opinion *
This album is better than I had imagined. It isn't fantastic , yet it isn't that poor either. It's different to the kind of music that's in the charts right now , although I can't help feel that he is trying to be like Michael Buble. Although I didn't mind listening to it the once , it's not an album I feel I could listen to on a regular basis as some of the songs are to plain and too same-y. It isn't very entertaining and doesn't match the type of music i listen to.
If I'm honest I think the only reason he is doing is so well is based purely on his looks (young girls fancying him and so buying his records! ) rather than talent. Think about it really , how many teenage girls would choose pop/dance music over jazz music ?
Overall , not a bad album , but not that a good of one either!
Don't waste your money!
Leon Jackson looks good but that's about all I could say about him. He's a clean cut young man with a decent voice but I never thought he had that bit extra that goes to make star.
He got enough votes to win the X Factor but it seems that he has few fans out there. Everyone I know rates him as mediocre at best. However, this is a review on the album 'Right Now', not on Leon Jackson himself.
He is a mixture of Brian Ferry (for those of you who remember him), and Michael Buble when he sings.
I would never have paid good money out for this mediocre album and I have only listened to it because a friend bought it and hated it so much so passed it on to me. I wouldn't say that I hated it. After all, 'what's not to like?'
Most of the track on 'Right Now' would be better under the combined heading of 'not now' because they are so out of date style wise and have nothing original about them.
How this singer won the X Factor competition in 2007 and then went on to make albums is a mystery to me. He certainly doesn't have anything outstanding going for him, except that he is kind of cute and easy on the eye.
Even his style of singing is confusing. I suppose I would categorise this album as pop with bits of jazz and a touch of the 1930's.
'Right Now' has twelve tracks with a bonus track: 'When You Believe'.
***Don't Call This Love***
This reached number three in the British Charts but it must have been bought by pubescent girls and people from Scotland (Leon's homeland) because I can't see that anyone else would want to buy it.
It starts exactly as it goes on and never really gets going. There is no passion or expression in the singer's voice and when the song ended I was still waiting for it to 'rev up'.
This track is better and I was almost convinced that Leon really can sing for some of the time. There's a distinctive jazz sound here and a touch the Brian Ferry wannabe about this one but Brian Ferry's Miss Otis Regrets, it isn't.
For me this is among the best tracks on this album. It's soft, smootchy and romantic and easy to listen to but still distinctly unmemorable in terms of something different.
Yuk! Awful lyrics and enough to make you want to switch the whole thing off and do something more interesting like knitting a pair of socks!
***Song For You***
This is an old song that has been rehashed. It was originally written by songwriter Leon Russell. The piano sounds great and the orchestral accompaniment puts me in mind of Brian Ferry again. Ray Charles did a fabulous job on this and Michael Buble sang it well. Leon does an okay job but it's nothing special. This is a lovely song with competent singer but nothing spectacular.
***Could Do Better***
This is an upbeat song that the singer seems to put a bit of passion and effort into for a change but it is the only track from the album that I really thought worth listening to. The title 'Could Do Better' seems to sum up the album. He certainly could.
A waste of money. Well, I didn't pay for the album and I'm pleased about that. There is only one decent track here and rest are mediocre to say the least. Leon has, in my opinion, got this far on his looks but he will need to pull something with a bit more 'oomph' out of the bag if he expects people to continue buying his albums.
I don't see, or hear anything here that marks this singer out as better, or more talented than many other would be pop stars. In my opinion he will very soon fade into oblivion.
At the risk of sounding like Simon Cowle himself, Leon doesn't have anything that leads me to think that he will really hit the heights.
As for this CD, I am about to pass it on to its third owner and see how long she keeps it before she passes it on, or throws it out of the window.
Awful, certainly not worth buying.
As today a new X Factor winner is a about to be crowned, lets have a look at what Simon did with last years winner. They locked him away for a year just like Leona and produced the above ;) - with Leona they did that and it was wise but with Leon i think they made a mistake he should have been released straight away a couple of months later instead of waiting a year, just because it worked for Leona doesn't mean it works for everyone.
I spent the majority of the year waiting to hear Leon Jackson's new album. Like many people i watched him last year on the X Factor, and atcually i was quite unimpressed but from last years final from the moment he sang When You Believe, my opinion improved and he sang it so well. Simon Cowell never liked Leon and doesnt think he should have won over Rhydian Roberts. Louis also agrees on this also and they're very public on it too, how cruel!
Leon atcually won the public vote the majority of the time in that case lots of people obviously liked him so! many people should have bought his album, BUT this hasn't done that well - you see it's only really sold 69,000 copies which isn't really good or promising for a debut CD by someone who is in the press and media all the time, it seems Leon isn't going to last any where near the amount of time Will Young or Girls Aloud have.
Atcually despite what i say above, i do like Leon's voice - i think sometimes his personality can be a little cocky and over the top wierd but his voice is good, he sounds 20 years older than his real age. This is a great record - it's got a mixture of good soul and jazz music that will appeal to older and younger people. Calling it Right Now was a good idea and i think the cover art and stuff deserves some praise. Credit where it's due it's a brillant album and Simon probably didnt want to invest in Leon but had to because he won, but in the end i think he let Leon make the record he wanted to make - soul and jazz pop record that's modern enough to work today.
There was a million reasons why Don't Call This Love should have worked as the first single off the album, great song, really catchy chorus and well sang especially in live performances and also has the title of LOVE in like Bleeding Love like Leona, see? - that's probably why it was choosen as the single, but that chorus was radio friendly but for some reason it didn't take to the public. The rest of the album is quite stellar, the new single Creative was my faviourite from the album seconds after i heard it - sounds like a car advert, could save the album and the only thing that might revive Leon's career, great video and well sang, so catchy and just fun! this should have maybe have been the lead single.
Stargazing,is really good- high quality even better than some Snow Patrol and Coldplay tracks. All In Good Time, reminds me of Amy Winehouse really well sang and heavy on trumpets and stuff. Good vocals. Right Now is the album title track, it's fun and it's like Creative but not as good.You Don't Know Me Leon sang on X Factor, this is a chilled out version of that it's good. Ordinary Days is a particular faviourite of mine as well, really classy and i call for this to be released. A Song For You shows off and shuts up everyone that says Leon can't sing. Fingerprints is stellar, that should be a single - so well sang especially the chorus. Could Do Better is one of my fave's again - that would have better to release and might have changed things for Leon, Misty Blue is alright but doesn't stand out too much. Caleondia obviously a cover and to be fair Paolo Nutini got there first but still good and despite When You Believe being a cover and Leon's winning song - it's still a good version, i like it.
I think on overall the album is stellar, and i like every song on it. I don't like Leon too much as a person he reminds me of some mean people at school! in some ways, at times he is overconfident and then shy and confuses me, but that VOICE! is above is age, he sounds like a forty year old - really good. I like the album and if they give him a better chance by releasing more singles rather than just axing him because the sales have not come straight away like Girls Aloud, Lemar and Will Young they might be able to prove to the public and radio that actually Leon is a great singer and if he was not attached to the X Factor he would have been successful anyway....i urge you atcually to give a listen, i think alot of people are still bitter about Rhydian v Leon and Leon winning when obvoiusly Rhydian is a better singer but that's not to say Leon's not a good singer as well.
For those of you who don't know, Leon Jackson was the X factor winner in 2007 following on from Leona the year before. Before this year's series I had a £10 bet that the winner would be someone called Leo, but seems he never showed up. 'Right Now' was released on October 20, 2008 and went straight in at number 4 on the UK Album Chart. Leon is the first X Factor winner not to have their debut album top the charts in its first week of release.
I can understand to some extent Leon's popularity, I'm sure many think he's just... 'amazing'. He's a handsome enough chap, in a puppy dog kind of way, with its puppy dog eyes staring through the bars of a cage before its about to be put down. I know another chap with that same look, he works on the till at my local Tesco's, only he has a slightly more charisma than Leon.
Leon won the X Factor show that Rhydian should have won, even though Rhydian had more X Factor in his wacky blonde quiff than Leon will ever muster up in his life time. Unfortunately Rhydian's operatic performance was disregarded by the voting public and Britain's pop charts suffered a new low with one of the most depressing Christmas number ones since Cliff's "Misty Toe and Whine".
Anyway... back to my evening with Leon... this was my experience last week as I listened to the album at my auntie's house - she bought the CD as a gift for her youngest daughter (so she says). All the songs on the album are love songs in one form or another and about half of them are cover versions.The opening track "Don't Call This Love" is a slow ballad with orchestral backing and a pleasant enough melody, one of the few original songs on the CD written by Chris Braide and Carl Falk. It was the first single to be released from the album and reached number three in the meaningless British singles charts, being outdone by that one hit wonder babe Geraldine McQueen with the "The Winner's Song" which entered the charts at number 2, and Pink with "So What" at number 1. If I recall correctly this was the song Leon sang whilst fidgeting erratically on a recent X Factor show. He was trying to get himself noticed - the guy simply has zero stage presence.
"Creative" is an attempt at some rumba-rhythm - it's kind of like Ricky Martin without the charisma or singing on slow speed or on drugs or maybe I should take some drugs before I listen to any more of this... OK. I admit, my left foot was tapping half way through. The song is one of two on the album written by Peter Gordeno who has previously worked with Seal. He also wrote the 4th track "All in Good Time".
The next track is "Stargazing" - more like I'm gazing into a bucket about to be sick. I've just realised anyone can sing like Leon. Just go into the bathroom (lock the door). Stick your head into the toilet bowl and start singing 'My Way' in a deep voice. This song was actually written specifically for Leon by Michael Buble's Pianist, Alan Chang.. I don't care, the lyrics are puerile. Anyone who writes lines like this - "Life feels more than amazing, in your eyes, it feels like I've been stargazing" - should be confined to a padded cell.
The next three songs are probably the best produced on the album. I do like swing and I can appreciate the back up instrumentation on these tracks. "All In Good Time" is a swing number with big band backing, a nice jazz section and piano accompaniment. "Right Now" turns up the tempo and is another track in Ricky Martin mode or something Harry Connick Junior could have done better. There's plenty of brass and sax interludes - not bad actually. "You Don't Know Me" is an old Ray Charles number also sung by Bublé. It's a slow romantic ballad with some pleasant tinkling upon the ivories. I think Leon Jackson is attempting to do an impression of Frank Sinatra - actually it's not a bad impression - no... forgive me, I must have had too much to drink. It's blasphemy to even put those two names in the same sentence. Sorry if I offended any 'wise guys' from Sicily. 'Old Blue Eyes' must be turning in his grave. But hang on... I'm just going to have another listen... Yep, the production team got it spot on here - it's the best track on the album. Leon's voice has never sounded so good.
We're on track seven now. "Ordinary Days" is a more modern pop melody but it really does drag... on. After a brief interlude his voice is getting on my nerves again. It was quite bearable to start off with. Listening to just one or two songs on the X Factor show isn't that bad either but trawling through 13 of these in a row might be unlucky for some and probably suicidal for many. Leon Russell's "A Song For You" is another slow ballad in which Leon's personality continues not to shine through. 'Baby, can't you see through me' go the lyrics. Yes, I can see right through you to a place where it is written in stone "I am an outstanding mediocrity".
Song number 9 is called "Fingerprints" - a slow beat with piano notes and voice dominating and get ready for some cheesy lyrics:
"I gotta go soon as the sun says hello, Goodbye the moon, So baby all I wanna do is leave my fingerprints on you".
Yeah... and wash your hands first. Don't like his voice on this, it's like the sound of a ball bearing rolling around in an empty iron trash can. The next track "Could Do Better" is slightly more up tempo with some neatly layered movie-score type strings in the background. An improvement on the previous and one of the better produced tracks. But again the total lack of fervour in the vocals makes it another ordinary song.
Track 11 is a cover of "Misty Blue" - a song that was originally made popular by jazz vocalist Ella Fitzgerald in 1967. It starts off nicely with some pleasant twangy electric guitar and then Leon starts singing - sounding like he's standing in a back alleyway with a steel bucket in his head. I skip this halfway through to the next song: a folksy Scottish ballad. It's a rest bite from all that swing and jazz and an attempt at sophistication. It is a cover version of a Dougie MacLean Scottish ballad from the late 1970s. "Caledonia" is what the Roman's used to call the Northern part of Britain and is sometimes a romantic or poetic name for Scotland. Leads off with simple acoustic guitar and maintains a mid-tempo rhythm with some gentle sting accompaniment later on. Lyrically the song is about as exciting as damp haggis:
"Lost the friends that I needed losing
And others on the way
And I've kissed the ladies and left them crying
Stolen dreams oh there's no denying
And I've travelled hard with my coat tails flying
Somewhere in the wind".
Sounds like an updated version of:
"Georgie Porgie, Puddin' and Pie,
Kissed the girls and made them cry,
When the boys came out to play
Georgie Porgie ran away."
...I wish I could run away now, but there's still one more 'bonus track'... yes, you've guessed it, it's that dreaded number one song from last year. Like the ghost of Christmas past it's come back to haunt. "When You Believe" as a song is actually not that bad, but God how awfully it's sung. There's a nice melody in there somewhere... if only Rhydian had been singing it. Perhaps it's not surprising that this is another rehashed cover version. The song was originally an Academy Award-winning composition penned by Stephen Schwartz for the animated feature The Prince of Egypt. Schwartz rewrote it for Leon. The song ended 2007 as the year's 4th biggest-selling single in the UK and remained at number one for three weeks. However, it only remained in the top 40 for 7 weeks, despite being the fastest selling single of 2007. By the end of February it had disappeared from the top 100. A prime example of manufactured pop at its most efficient.
Despite the neat orchestration on some of the tracks and some wizardry in the production studio, this is a very ordinary and unadventurous debut album. "You Don't Know Me" is the one track were they've managed to work some magic. The lyrics throughout are drab or maybe it's just the way Leon sings: his voice fails to breath any life into them. There's simply no emotion, no passion there - he sings like an Android that needs oiling. By the end... in fact well before the end, his voice just grates. It has the same effect on me as the sound of someone drilling a hole into a concrete wall with a blunt drill bit. It's not a sound you want to hear for a long time. Seriously though, Leon's vocals lack power and range. Michael Bublé he isn't nor will he ever be.
And if you are one of those who seriously compare him to Matt Monroe, Bobby Darin, Perry Como and the like... get real and give your head a shake. This guy's no nouveau Rat Packer, he's just a shelf stacker. Wearing a black suit and tie and looking all sultry just won't do it. Even the stature of lesser mortals such as Rick Astley will always tower above him. OK he can just about sing, his voice certainly sounds better on the album than it does live, but he's only as good as me on a Friday night after three pints of Guinness, clicking my fingers whilst holding a SingStar Party mike. OK he's young, he's only 19, but the point is... you've got to be good to sing swing, you have to really warble those notes and Leon falls way short of the grade... even if they stick his head down a toilet bowl in an echo chamber, he'll never be a top notch crooner. If you want proof watch Leon sing live on YouTube, then watch Harry Connick Junior and see if you can spot the difference.
But alas, it's not poor Leon's fault, it's Simon Cowell's, he who puts stars in their eyes. The strangely shaped evil one, the Scrooge of the British pop charts, like a big fat black crow whose shadow has come to roost once more over Christmas present. He who has brought ruin to the sacred Christmas number one... for ever more. And if you are a Leon fan reading this, please don't take this review too personally or too seriously. It's not worth it. It's just a bit of fun and after all, in a few years from now, none of us will remember who he is.
I am a huge fan of X-Factor; I absolutely love the show and have watched it from the very first series which was ever on the television. I think Simon Cowell is an absolute genius and although I thought Sharon Osbourne was a brilliant judge, I have to admit I do admire the rather gorgeous Cheryl Cole and the way in which she stands up ot her peers.
Leon Jackson was the winner of the fourth series in 2007, a quirky young Scottish boy whom when he first came onto the screen I liked in an instant because his talent was raw and stood out from the crowd, it didn't sound manufactured and he definitely wasn't boy band material. Leon I felt throughout the whole of the X-factor show was less arrogant than any of the other contestants and being mentored by Dannii Minogue I never actually thought he would do that well, after all her success in comparison to the other judges at the time was somewhat lacking. But Leon proved that he had what it takes to become the winner and have the X-factor and in doing so he beat rival Rhydian Roberts the operatic singer from Wales, whom again I thought was extremely talented.
So after more than a year in which Leon won the X-Factor and got his £1million contract his debut album Right Now was automatically added to my basket whilst doing my weekly shopping. The airwaves have been full of Leona Lewis and her success is actually rather impressive, especially as she has managed to do so well in America. Now as the furore has died down a little, the album is released and I have to say it wasn't quite what I was expecting. Leon had stated on numerous occasions on the X-factor that he loved Jazz and that his idol is Michael Buble (with whom Leon has performed). The album which has sold in the region of 70,000 copies I don't feel has been promoted as much as previous X-Factor contestants such as Leona Lewis and even Rhydian Roberts.
The CD which is titled Right Now was released in the United Kingdom on October 20th 2008. There are thirteen tracks in total on the album, the thirteenth track is a bonus track called When You Believe which was sung by all four finalists on X-Factor.
The Track list for the rest of the album is as follows:
1. "Don't Call This Love"
4. "All In Good Time"
5. "Right Now"
6. "You Don't Know Me"
7. "Ordinary Days"
8. "A Song For You"
10. "Could Do Better"
11. "Misty Blue"
13. "When You Believe
1) Don't Call This Love: was the first single to be released off the album and it reached number three in the British singles charts. As a song it is quite a soulful song and anyone who watched x-factor will probably remember that Leon was most in his comfort zone covering old songs from artists such as Frank Sinatra and this song reminds me of something from that genre.
2) Creative was the second song that Leon released and this is a very catchy tune and definitely of the Jazz influence which Leon again mentioned he is a big fan of. I first heard this song when he sung it on Children in Need and he sounds in my opinion very similar to Michael Buble.
3) Stargazing is for me one of the best songs on the album with an equally excellent video and I feel he is singing all about his success through x-factor and the wonderful journey he has been on to get where he is today. The video features lots of different clips of Leon throughout his life as a child, teenager and as he is today.
4) Could do better is again of a jazz persuasion and his vocals throughout the song are really strong, although there is no hint of his quite broad Scottish accent, this song for me is the one in which you can most hear it.
5) Song For You has been released by quite a few different artists over the years. It was originally sung by Leon Russell. This version however is quite heavy on the piano and mixed with the strong vocals which Leon has work really well together and it is quite a slow moving track which is perfect for listening too at any dinner party in the background
The final song I am going to mention is called Caledonia which is definitely about the changes which have occurred during Leon's life since he won the talent show. The lyrics are all about not forgetting where he has come from, how exciting life is and how he is relying on the people who know him to bring him back to reality if he becomes a stranger to him. The other reason that I really like this song is because you definitely get the whole Scottish twang coming across as he sings and it really shows how soulful and strong his voice actually is.
I had no doubts when I bought this album that it would be brilliant. Leon Jackson isn't someone that I would usually listen too, I am more a fan of fast moving house and techno music loving girl, but every now and again someone or something catches my imagination and I feel compelled to buy something they have produced and this is one of the reasons I like X-factor so much, it moves me away from my comfort zone to listen to all types of musical genre's and broadens my musical tastes. I would say this album is for people of all ages, it isn't something I could imagine buying for my 10 year old niece but she does actually have his winning X-Factor song on her MP4 player which is quite impressive.
As a singer Leon does have very song vocals and he has come along way since he went onto X-factor with his vocal training and I really do like his soulful voice and could happily listen to this album over and over again.
I paid £8.99 for this album.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Don't Call This Love
4 All In Good Time
5 Right Now
6 You Don't Know Me
7 Ordinary Days
8 A Song For You
10 Could Do Better
11 Misty Blue
13 When You Believe (UK Bonus Track)