Released 28 October 2012
Reviewed by Shaun Howells
Previous x-factor winner Matt Cardle will release The Fire in the UK as his second studio album on October 29. The impressive collection features ten new songs including lead single 'It's Only Love' and a new interpretation of 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face' which was originally performed on the Finale of X-Factor.
The Fire is Cardle's first album since leaving Columbia Records earlier this year and finds the singer in fantastic form. This album serves as the follow-up to Cardle's debut album Letters, which reached number two on the UK chart.
The album has a very upbeat mood from the off, starting very strong with 80’s power ballad inspired lead single “Its Only Love”. The single, as with much of the album, is fairly mid-tempo with large, uplifting choruses. The album never ventures from this winning formula, from beautiful ballads to up-tempo soft rock. Matt’s recognizable vocals seem better than ever and flow wonderfully over some impressive piano and guitar melodies.
As a whole this album doesn’t disappoint, and if anything; is likely to strengthen this versatile artist’s already strong fan base. Keep an eye out in the charts for stand out tracks “Its Only Love”, “The Fire” and “Empire”. These tracks, as with much of the album are very radio friendly and sure to be given wide approval, especially by the music critics who widely regard Cardle as one of the more credible acts to come from The X-Factor.
I spoke with Matt Cardle to find out all the Goss for his New Album, X-Factor and his Forthcoming Tour….
So Matt, You have your new album on the way… In what way does it differ from your previous album, Letters?
It was great to be able to write and produce an album without many constraints. It was brilliant to be able to write my own songs, and draw from personal experiences to put them into material without them being too overproduced. The album is more diverse than Letters with a more up-tempo feel.
Letters was a huge success, reaching number 2 in the album charts, Do you feel any pressure to ensure this album performs just as well?
I would love the album perform as well as Letters, there is pressure, but not the same. I suppose I’ve put pressure on myself to produce an album people with enjoy. Success for my singles is less important to me, it’s my album I’ve crafted – and that’s where I want my success reflected.
We have listened to the album, its fab! Is there any stand out tracks for you?
I was inspired for this album from personal experiences. I would say that some parts sound a little like Massive Attack. My personal favourite track has to be “Lately”. It’s a song ive had for a while and we decided to alter the production a few times but never found the right sound. We have that sound now and I love the track.
Obviously, you have your forthcoming Tour, what can we expect?
When we performed the last album we noted that things needed to maybe be a little more up-tempo next time around. The tour will have previous material featured. We don’t just want to bash the audience round the head with unknown material!
X-Factor is back on our screens now, what do you think of this crop of contestants?
I haven’t had a great deal of time to watch much X-Factor to be honest with you, but from what I have seen I really enjoy watching and listening to James McArthur. Oh, and that Ellie is fantastic. Ellie to wind I’d say.
Do you ever get starstruck?
Working on X-Factor that quickly disappears! Seeing Cheryl, Danni, Louis and Simon every week as well as the guest acts or mentors you quickly overcome the nerves and butterflies of meeting the celebs! That sounds cocky doesn’t it! No, I don’t mean it like that, but you do get used to it very very quickly when you’re on a show like X-Factor.
We never see you “snapped” falling out of clubs or appearing in the celeb mags, do you make a conscious effort to keep away from that “celebrity culture”.
I don’t think a conscious effort is needed. I think there is more of a conscious effort made by those who are seen! Listen, I like to go out, get drunk, have a good time. But, I can do that in my own space and away from the photographers. I’m not into the celebrity culture, for me it’s all about the music. You don’t see Adele or James Morrison getting drunk and falling out of clubs… But I’m sure they do. They are serious musicians where it’s about music, not celebrity. I’m the same.
Do you have any other passions aside from music?
Yes, I love to skateboard…. I do that a lot actually! Also I love snowboarding but only been able to go twice recently.
Finally, apart from wishing you good luck with the album and tour, I wanted to ask if you had any artists you would like write or perform with?
(Without hesitation) Chris Martin, no question. He is a fantastic musician and is enormously talented! I would love to write or perform with him… Both!
Matt Cardle’s new album The Fire and new single Its Only Love are out October 29th 2012.
Matt Cardle UK Tour Dates:
Sun 21st October HMV Institute Temple, Birmingham
Mon 22ndOctober Concorde 2, Brighton
Tues 23rdOctober Scala, London