Album review: Vadé - Cry Your Heart Out
The whole appeal of a reality TV star is the fact they feel attainable and they could be just like us.
This rings even more true with vocal group Vadé - who triumphed on the first series of Sky One's Sing: Ultimate A Capella on TV screens this summer.
One of the quintet is from local climes too, with the giant Jermaine Sanderson a Wulfrunian. But on top of that is the fact the five of them still hold down full-time jobs as their burgeoning career grows.
Jermaine and bandmate Roy Crisp are carers. Philip Yeboah is an IT consultant. While Joshua 'JJ' Hammsersley Junior is a pharmacist and Joseph 'Kojo' Anti is in architecture.
When they combine to mix their smooth vocals into one melting pot the result is soothing. Here are five guys bringing some classic tracks to life in ways we haven't heard them. While in their own original single, admittedly written by One Direction's Niall Horan, they show they have scope to make a name with their own material.
And extra sweetness is added in the fact the record is dedicated to Jermaine's mother Janet Ottey, who sadly died while they were on their journey.
We have a quick, 10-track journey through the musical ages.
They cover a range of material from Swedish House Mafia's Don't You Worry Child to Boyz II Men's Motownphilly. From Seal's super-hit Kiss From A Rose to the gospel favourite Swing Low Sweet Chariot.
Some of it works better than others.
That SHM cover, for example, gives a deeper and more morose feeling to what is a sad song hidden beneath the care-free synths in the original. It sounds fab.
As you would expect, Seal's style transfers across well too. That instantly recognisable opening sounds great in harmony. And the deeper vocals throughout in the background carry it nicely.
There are a couple of tracks where it does feel slightly more muddled. The pace changes in their version of Tears For Fears' Sowing The Seeds Of Love for example stutter a little. But kudos to them for pushing the boundaries in what they try in the first place. The vocals still sound great.
There is room to grow here. It will be fun to see what they can do developing their own material with a few covers still thrown in. But this is a lovely start to life that will bring a few smiles after being unwrapped on Christmas morning.