Matt Cardle has returned from what some would describe as a quiet patch, with a triumphant, emotional album, produced by Cardle himself and featuring co-writes with the likes of Eg White, Paul Statham and Steve Booker.

Cardle deliver’s his vocal almost faultlessly throughout (whilst sounding a bit like a mix between Alanis Morissette and Darren Hayes of Savage Garden), and the lead single It’s Only Love is a simple but pumping rock ballad, which should make some impact in the charts this week. Cardle also proves he’s got a grittier side with tracks like For Every Heartbreak, a guitar-lead stomping country inspired track which keeps you bopping your head throughout.

There’s an emotional side to the album – toward the end of the album, Lately is a powerful, poignant, choral number over a simple piano accompaniment, which crescendo’s into a full Take That style power ballad. Cardle leaves us with a cover of First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, showing off his easy-listening vocal with a track he performed back on the X Factor in his winning 2010 turn.

Matt Cardle manages to get away from his X Factor label with some clever original material and an interesting record, which, whilst not going to change the world, should show some people a new side to the ex-painter-decorator-done-good.

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