Gareth Gates - Go Your Own Way
Perhaps there was a shortage of plastic that week. Maybe it was the post office failing to meet their targets. One things for sure, by the time we received our copy of Gareth Gates "Go Your Own Way" album we'd already read the reports of him going down the dumper. With that in mind we decided that if were to review this album with an open mind we'd have to put it on the pile and come back to it two months later when we could truly judge the album on it's own merits rather than being swung with the build em up knock em down mentality that the media falls into so easily.
In truth "Sunshine" wasn't a great single to come back with. It was a progression, but in an effort to achieve that mature sound he simply sounded dated and the lyric "I'm the first to complain about the rain" has to be up there with Desree's mutterings about toast. One thing was clear that despite a bad choice of songs Gareth's vocals had improved beyond belief. The first CD on this 2 CD collection which can essentially be split between Fuller's ego and Cowell's out of touch idea of pop is somewhat of a mixed bag. "Groove With Me" sounds like one of George Michael's dire attempts to sex it up but on "All Cried Out", which samples from Human League's "Human", we could potentially have a track which matches the heights of the debut album's "Too Serious Too Soon". One of those songs which transcends the genre of pop and assimilates itself as an immediate all time classic. Similarly the albums title track is one of those moments of pop genius and if there's one track to put Gates back in the spotlight for all the right reasons it's this one. Sadly these moments are few and far between as the first CD sees Gates pathetically attempting to steal Justin trousersnake's thunder with some Neptunes-lite beats and forgettable R&B tunes such as ""Enough Of Me" and "Just Say Yes". Bizarrely enough the closing track "Soul Affection" sounds like a prime cut from TLC or Destinys Child's quieter moments and emphasizes the fact that despite his affair with Jordan, Gates will always been seen as a non threatening effete pop star.
The second CD essentially showcases the route Simon Cowell thought Gates should head in and although far from perfect, maybe just maybe these tracks would have faired better commercially. "Spirit In The Sky" with the Kumars we all know and love and the fact it trounced Will Young's Children in Need record spoke for itself. "Say It Isn't So" suffers the same faults as Westlife have over the years - a nice pleasant ballad but one that isn't going to match those early Westlife singles ""Swear It Again" and "If I Let You Go". "Skeletons" has got to be Gareths campest moment yet and sees "Anyone Of Us" rewritten as a hi-energy Eurovision entry complete with tinges of Shania Twain style country waiting to burst out. If you cringe on hearing "Foolish" then don't worry cos we felt the same - imagine "Mustang Sally" played on a casio keyboard with cliched lyrics "Love is a drug and I feel like getting high" and then multiply by a thousand to understand exactly how bad this really is. "Too Soon To Say Goodbye" sounds like Ace Of Bass and for that very reason we couldn't say goodbye fast enough. Both "Lies" and "Nothings Gonna Stop Us Now" follow the "Anyone Of Us" formula and fuses them with Steps for good measure and if the addition of acoustic guitar wasn't so pedestrian and the producers would have gone for full club bangers these could really survived the test of time.
I'm not gonna lie and pretend that "Go Your Own Way" is a great record. It's a major disappointment after the potential which "What My Heart Wants To Say" showed. Unlike other publications though the last thing I'm gonna do is write his career off after one disappointing album. Gareth Gates is still probably single handed the best male popstar this country has seen for years and if you look bad to how many bad albums Kylie has released you'll realize it only takes one good song to kick-start a career. Pop music may be entirely superficial, but unlike indie bands where fans will hang on for years after the songs have dried up, a pop act is only as big as their last single. Gareth, we plead - take hold of your career instead of leaving it in the hands of people old enough to be your dad. You've got to go your own way for the sake of your career.
Click Here - Read our review of "What My Heart Wants To Say"
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