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Hear'Say : Everybody

Second album in a year for Popstars lads and lasses...

Hear'Say : Everybody

5 / 10 It could be said that any act knocking out two albums in less than a year is either desperate or terrified of losing their grip on a fickle market populated by consumers with changing allegiances. But enough about Radiohead. With a workrate to make JK Rowling look like JD Salinger, Hear'say are back with a new LP - and there's good news! Because it's better than its predecessor, which by all accounts was an absolute disgrace. There's also bad news, because 'Everybody' still isn't much cop.

In fact, on first listen the current single (and title track) is conspicuously the only song to actually sound like a single. Things get better after a few spins: 'Play To Win' is all a bit J-Lo, while the best track is 'We Go On', a huge 80s-influenced electro thumper in the vein of Kylie's 'Can't Get You Out Of My Head'. 'Suddenly', meanwhile, is more reminiscent of, er, Kylie's 'Fever'.

It's a shame the reference points didn't shift a little further, because with the exception of a pointless Marvin Gaye cover, none of the other tracks are even worth mentioning. 'Play To Win' sums things up fairly tidily: [I]"Sometimes you're out/Sometimes you're in/That is how it goes." [/I] Well, you said it, people. About the most individual track on here is 'Pure & Simple', a mystifying remix of which is glued to the end of the album. It's not exactly a wealth of riches.

It seems a long time ago that [I]Popstars[/I] appeared to be creating an extraordinary band to spice up an average pop scene. [I]Popstars[/I] did succeed in its mission, even if it turns out that out the mission's covert aim was actually to create an average band in an extraordinary way. This is an average album, with six halfway decent songs unevenly split across 13 tracks.

"Criticism has got to be about the music, surely," Myleene out of Hear'say told NME earlier this year. Well, yes, and the music's just not good enough. Which is, all round, a bit of a pain in the ar'se.

Peter Robinson

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