For a brief moment three or four years ago, I wondered whatever had become of Peter Andre. Having once been a prominent part of any light-entertainment/pop music show during his justifiably brief pop career, Andre's disappearance was both swift and pleasing yet there was a moment when his then whereabouts bubbled through to something approaching concern. Perhaps it was the sight of a bottle of wet-look hair gel or maybe it was the sound of Mysterious Girl on a television-advertised compilation of limp reggae...that memory was doubtless replaced by something else but the mention of television brings up Andre's high-jinks in the jungle with Jordan, which has to go down - much like Jordan, as it happens - as one of the more desperate acts performed during the course of resurrecting a pop career.
Television is well known for throwing up surprising and wholly unwelcome images. During the height of the Troubles in Northen Ireland, an uncle of mine had his car stolen in Belfast - a particularly natty purple Mark III Ford Cortina. That his next sight of it was being blown up by a controlled explosion having been linked to a warning by the IRA does, of course, fit that description well. As does Peter Andre, much like his one-time cohort in the jungle, John Lydon, fits the seat left empty in his honour on the bus marked Desperate Old Punks.
Writing truthfully, it's almost as if Andre never really went away, so neatly does Mysterious Girl fit onto this album. Indeed, it doesn't so much feel like an album that was recorded in the wake of Andre's success on I'm A Celebrity etc. as one that dates from just before the dumper came calling for him back in the nineties and it's only now that the record company have found a use for the thing other than as a means to soak up taxes.
With two versions of Mysterious Girl, Insania, which gets no better on the album than it was as a single, and a cover of Let's Go Dancing, this is as thrilling a mix of pop and reggae as Brother Beyond making a comeback with an album of Bob Marley covers. If it's not the worst album this year, it'll only be due to Whitney Houston releasing a new album on which every track is her cover of I Will Always Love You and whilst the likes of Terry Wogan would doubtless stain his Burton's slacks over such a thing, there's thousands of better releases than this one this year, simply thousands.