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Music Review

Will Young: 'Let It Go'

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Will Young: 'Let It Go'
Released on Tuesday, Sep 30 2008

So, is this really Will Young's "break-up record"? Well, if you approach Let It Go looking for titillating titbits about the dissolution of his two-year relationship with a dancer called Conor, you won't be disappointed. "We're in a crisis and you think it's boring," Young sings on a song called 'Disconnected', offering a clue as to Why Things Went Wrong. He's even more direct on 'Are You Happy', asking his lover: "How can we get on when we don't even talk?" before telling him: "There's no way you're happy baby." Had to hurt, right?

But calling Let It Go a "break-up record" only tells half the story. Lead single 'Changes', a song about being stuck in a rut but hoping things will get better, is just as typical here. He may compare his heart to a can of worms at one point - not the prettiest of images, it has to be said - but elsewhere Young comes across as smart, feisty and fundamentally optimistic.

Without wishing to get too Ally McBeal about it, he's also a hopeless romantic who still believes in love even when he's at his lowest ebb, which is why Let It Go never becomes depressing or self-pitying. "You let it tear you apart," he sings on the straightforwardly-titled 'Love', before admitting he'll put himself through the same thing "all over again".

Though Let It Go is clearly Young's most revealing album to date - he co-wrote eleven of its 13 tracks - his soul-baring is always conducted in the best possible taste. This is an album of glossy, polished adult pop, penned with experienced songsmiths including Eg White (Adele, Duffy) and Karen Poole (Sugababes, Kylie), that rarely strays from midtempo. 'Love', the album's six-minute centrepiece, may appropriate the 'Billie Jean' bassline for a slice of ultra-smooth wine bar disco, but there's never any danger of Young breaking sweat.

So while the album does sometimes slip into blandness, most of the time it's just plain good: the melodies are lively and surprising, the lyrics are thoughtful and the singing is consistently impressive. Annie Lennox, whose classy, emotionally rich pop Young clearly admires, and George Michael, whose openness he matches, are obvious touchstones. It's a testament to how far he's come since winning Pop Idol six years ago that it now seems fitting, not ridiculous, to mention Will Young's name in such elevated company.


> Click here to read our recent interview with Will Young

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