Album Reviews

Single Review: Alexandra Burke – Start Without You

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.

[xrr rating=0.25/5]

Related posts:

  1. Single Review: Jedward – All The Small Things
  2. Single Review: Olly Murs – Please Don’t Let Me Go
  3. Single Review: Joe McElderry – The Climb
  4. Single Review: Antoine Dodson – Bed Intruder Song
  5. Single Review: Sugarland – Stuck Like Glue


  1. It is her weakest single yet and a real shame it’s being released when her own album has far better songs on it (and after All Night Long did so well too). This sounds like a demo for another song, one that isn’t quite there yet. I do think the comment about her needing “professional songwriters” is missing the point though. Red One was involved with this track who is a HUGE producer and worked with Alex on a number of tracks..

  2. Sarah

    I think you’ll find Jedward have the worst song of the year, closely followed by the club is alive and drummer boy.

  3. Conor: I think you missed the point I was making about the songwriters. She has professional songwriters, so there is no excuse for this kind of crap. Non-professionals at least have an excuse!

  4. Sarah: The Club is Alive is a definite contender alright.

  5. Lily Ann

    OMG, what is this site. How can you sit there and slate this song and not even rate it 1 star, acting like you’re better than her. She is an amazing singer, releasing good music (she wrote this herself) and living her dream. She came from the X Factor so of course she is going to return (!) The fact is the people that slate her are just bitter that they aren’t where she is or just plain jealous. This review didn’t even comment properly on the song but instead focused on slamming Alexandra and The X Factor. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

  6. I never slated the X Factor. I really enjoy the show. Check out my reviews of Joe’s or Olly’s singles if you don’t believe me. I also praised Alexandra’s earlier work. I stated exactly what I thought of this horrible song. If she co-wrote it herself, that forgives her a small bit, but perhaps she should go back to what she’s good at – singing, not writing.

  7. Kim

    I looooove Alexandra and is a big fan!! but I am a bit disappointed in the direction her Label is taking her. From the dressing to the idea to make her the complete opposite of Leona is not doing it for me. I agree with Connor that her album ‘Overcome’ has better songs on it.! I listened to this song a few times and I’m praying it will grow on me. The single is suppose to make you want to buy the album but I’m not excited it at all!!!

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