Time for a walk down memory lane with the second release from 2005’s X-Factor winner Shayne Ward, one that I feel may have been lost in the mists of time, but still stands up as a pretty solid reality TV song.
Shayne’s debut, the ropey “That’s my goal” was a flying start for his career, snatching the 2005 Christmas No.1 with the 3rd biggest debut week sales (behind Elton John’s Candle in the wind 1997 and Will Young’s Evergreen/Anything is possible). So the stakes were high for a decent follow-up. At odds with recent X-Factor album launches, this came the following April and “No Promises” was the launch single.
I think that chorus really sells it to me, really easy to sing along to, not too naff or mid-tempo once it hits its stride. He’s got a strong but not terribly distinctive voice, and I’m sure at least some part of the song choice was a response to recently popular falsetto hits by Keane, Coldplay and more notably Daniel Bedingfield (part of whose “If you’re not the one” gets a fairly decisive nod in the choruses). I like the occasional string sections, and the quiet middle-8 building up to a well-judged key change.
The video is a nicely hopeless pop video, with a decent attempt at a ‘twist’ towards the end (I won’t ruin it for you). It doesn’t quite explain why the glamorous leading lady is just waving her arse at a fan and pushing her tits together, but ten points for effort. The bit at the end with the dance in the street has stuck in my mind all these years, though the “Final Destination” moment lacks any shock at all, and the effect is slightly lessened by our brave hero mincing down the road at the end.
He’s not very good at miming in videos, his timing is fine but his mouth movements are totally overdramatised, like it’s being performed by a flickbook of emoticons 😮
Still, it all worked out well in the mid-term for Shayne, his album launched with a hair-raising 200k in its first week (pretty massive at any time of year, let alone the middle of Spring). Subsequent singles flopped, but it didn’t stop him pull off a successful comeback with a surprisingly big-selling second album. The third album didn’t fare quite so well, and he’s now in a West End musical “Rock of Ages”, which looks pretty ropey, but he’s still doing reasonably well for an X-Factor alumnus, 6 years on.