Alexandra Burke – ‘Start Without You’
Alexandra Burke is back with her second album later this year. Probably in October or November when X Factor is in full swing to cash in, and also to make an appearance on the live show, where she’ll get a standing ovation even if she’s awful. If she comes back on the show with this song, I’ll definitely be sitting still in my sitting room chair.
Burke has had some strong singles since winning X Factor two years ago. She’s carved herself out a different career than Leona Lewis, whom she was constantly compared to on the show and in the media – their only similarities being that they are both black female pop stars. Burke’s songs have a much more R&B feel to them than Leona’s heartfelt ballads. ‘Bad Boys’ was a very catchy song, and ‘Broken Heels’ was everywhere even though it was her lowest charting single. However, this new song, ‘Start Without You’ has to be filed alongside ‘Hallelujah’.
Let’s start with the positive. Yes, there’s only one. It’s not as bad as ‘Hallelujah’. This is because it’s a whole new song, and thus she isn’t murdering Leonard Cohen or Jeff Buckley’s legacy. That’s it. That’s all I can say about this song that’s positive. Why? It’s perhaps the worst pop single I’ve heard this year. You’d expect such tripe from people who wouldn’t know better – unsigned, insipid wanabees who will sing their “own material” at the X Factor auditions. However, Burke is a previous winner of the show, and thus should have better, professional songwriters behind her. RedOne wrote this travesty, and it’s impossible to believe he was actually paid to write it.
‘Start Without You’ sounds like one of those horrible Butlins kids’ songs. Never mind the fact that people sound like they’re Butlins singers on the X Factor, Burke is about to release a song straight from the Great Butlins Songbook. It’s chirpy but banal, and extremely unlistenable. Repeated listens only make it worse. You’ll kick yourself if any bit of it gets stuck in your head. Any radio DJ who plays this song a second time over the next month or so should be shot. Once is forgiveable, you’d be expecting something at least semi-decent, but to put it on again demands castration. The worst song of 2010.