Gareth Gates - Say It Isn't So

The purchase of a Gareth Gates single or album is never anything as simple as being a decision based on the quality of the song. Instead, it's is a moral decision, almost as though the fate of the future of the pop charts depends on it. Imagine standing at the singles rack and seeing this looking at you, just before a little devil appears on one shoulder bickering with the angel that appeared on the other. The devil, which wears its trousers as though needing to keep its kidneys warm, urges you to buy the single whilst the angel appeals to your better nature by reminding you of Top Of The Pops past when there wasn't a new number one every week, when pop bands didn't strive to be A-listed on Easy FM/Radio 2 and when British pop acts didn't take part-time jobs on Celebrity Driving School.

"Remember those years?" asks the angel. "Go on, buy the single...just like you did with Robson & Jerome!" says the devil. Do you reach for the Gareth Gates' single? Well, do you? Have you seen The Idols? Have you heard their version of Happy Xmas (War Is Over)? I have and, like Christopher Walken grabbing Martin Sheen's hand in The Dead Zone, I have not seen a future that is at all attractive.

It does look as though the public is tiring of Gareth Gates as the newspapers print photographs of him drunkenly staggering around a Dutch strip club tell the story that maybe this isn't such an innocent little kid after all. Then, of course, there was the Jordan story, with whom Gates had a bit of the ol' jiggy-jiggy whilst she was heavily pregnant. Oh, the shame! Yet, what's worse is that he appears on the front of this CD single wearing a mullet. Strip club, Jordan...for these things his advisors could be forgiven but a mullet?

And then there's the songs. Whilst this isn't gonna set the world alight, Say It Isn't So is pleasant enough but lacking anything approaching character. If it wasn't Gates singing, it could be Westlife, Ronan Keating, The Cheeky Girls, tatu or the latest Eurovision hopefuls and any of them would invest as much of an understanding of the songs as Gates does here. With Will Young's latest single a success and this being predicted to be Top 40 and nothing more, you suspect that time is now being called on Gates' career.

Sometimes good does win a small victory but with Will Young and The Idols still hanging about, it's time to join the angels in the fight to determine the future of pop.



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