Laura Critchley is a singer/songwriter from Liverpool, an artist that plays music in the genre of country pop. 'Sometimes I' is the artists début album and was released through Big Print Music in November 2007. The album consists of twelve tracks and this therefore provides for 47 minutes of music. It must be said that Laura Critchley has an excellent voice, her vocal tone is very uplifting and always pleasant to listen to. Many of the tracks present here are not hugely striking, one thing that does become apparent when listening to this album however is that Laura Critchley really does have a beautiful voice. There are a lot of filler tracks present here, not many that truly ever stand out, Laura Critchley's voice is certainly very good however; not too dissimilar to that of LeAnn Rimes in fact. I' feel it could perhaps be argued that Laura Critchley is little more than a second rate LeAnn Rimes; what I will say of this matter is that if you're a big fan of LeAnn Rimes then you'll probably quite like the way that this 'Sometimes I' album has been tackled by Laura Critchley.
From first track 'Today's Another Day' right through to closer 'Lullaby' the vocals are always very well sung out here. Laura Critchley has a great tone of voice and this therefore provides for an incredibly pleasant listening experience. The problem here however is that although the tracks are pleasant to listen to, they're never really anything that special; there's no denying that Laura Critchley has a great voice, it's just not utilised here to particularly powerful effect. The music lacks edge, there's a distinct lack of passion present in the sound here and therefore much of the album washes over you without ever leaving much of a lasting impression. The piano sound lacks depth, the choruses are not catchy enough to have you singing along (or even have you remembering the words for that matter), and all in all this record just passes by pleasantly but not particularly spectacularly.
Title track 'Sometimes I' is I feel the best track that this album has to offer. Produced by Steve Power who has worked with the likes of Robbie Williams, Klyie, and Delta Goodrem; this is the track that has the most about it from this album. The instrumental section is far harder hitting and the vocals are therefore much more effective also as a result. The problem with a lot of this album is that it lacks life and passion, the extra instrumental oomph here provides this track with that little bit extra required though and 'Sometimes I' therefore stands strong as the most powerful track that this album possesses. It's a finely worked piece of music, hugely melodic and vocally the sound created here is as ever truly stunning.
Laura Critchley is an artist that does I feel potentially hold great potential for the future. Her voice is excellent, her songwriting ability is a little lacking at current however and her tracks therefore lack depth and power. The voice is most definitely there, all that is needed now however is a little bit more in terms of passion and pop power. Other than 'Sometimes I', the tracks present on this album do not sound like ones which could perform particularly well commercially; they're okay, and the singing is strong, they lack that 'x-factor' if you will though and this is something that really is holding this singer/songwriter back at current.
Having reached the last 50 in Fame Academy in 2001, and also having toured in the past with the likes of the Sugababes and Ray Quinn (runner-up to Leona Lewis in the X-Factor); it would seem that I am not the only one that believes Laura Critchley to have a cracking voice. The future could be bright for Laura Critchley, whether it is or not depends a certain amount on luck, and also whether or not she can put to record enough power to draw the attention of the masses. Laura Critchley has an excellent voice, at current I just don't feel that the songwriting ability is quite there though; there are a lot of singer/songwriters out there and on the basis of this début album she just doesn't quite have it in her to be one of the best. A lot of this 'Sometimes I' album is just too unmemorable, it's not a bad album as such and always the vocal tone taken here is excellent, it's a pleasant album without ever being hugely hard hitting though and the tracks do I feel lack the power to progress Laura Critchley to the next level of success. If Laura Critchley teamed up with a talented bunch of songwriting individuals then with her voice I do believe she could easily be catapulted to the top of the charts; until such a time as that happens however then I fear that the vocal excellence of Laura Critchley will go largely unnoticed by the vast majority of people. She has a very good voice, so do a lot of people though and at current songwriting just doesn't seem to be Laura Critchley's forte. Laura Critchley has very much mastered her vocal art, only time shall tell as to whether or not her songwriting skill can be furthered however and what the future holds for this young Liverpudlian I just do not know.
A summer 2008 tour beckons for Laura Critchley in support of Boyzone on their eagerly anticipated reunion tour, will this be enough to significantly raise the profile of this vocally talented singer/songwriter though? Only time shall tell.
Label: Big Print Music
Release Date: November 19th 2007
Originally posted by me on my website Alt-UK.com
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Todays Another Day
2 What do We Do
3 Shoulder To Lean On
4 Ill Be Ok
5 Sometimes I
6 Tell Me
7 That Kind Of Love
8 Superstar (Song For Karen)
9 Dont Say
10 Girl Next Door