Today’s POP RESCUE from an uncertain fate, is the 2006 album A Whole New World, by Peter Andre and Katie Price. Does this album break new ground, or is it just a whole new Hell? Read on…
Katie (better known as model Jordan) and Peter had met on reality TV show I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here, and we’re married in 2005. This 12 track album is clearly some kind of honeymoon album, with the couple appearing to be in full wedding photo mode in the artwork.
The album opens with single and title track A Whole New World, a song taken from Disney’s 1992 Aladdin film. To their credit, this song isn’t so bad. The music is a bit generic, and maybe the.
Next up is a dance cover of The Best Things In Life Are Free, originally by Janet Jackson and Luther Vandross. Again, this is a fairly credible recording, but like the previous song, it isn’t breaking any new ground.
Third track is a cover of the classic Lionel Richie and Diana Ross duet of Endless Love. This is actually quite a nice cover, and neither compete here – with Peter and Katie taking complimenting harmonies.
Up next is Islands In The Stream, a pretty standard cover and the kind of song you’d hear at pub karaoke. Peter’s vocals feel suited here, and Katie’s vocal take an off-set vocal harmony perfectly, although her solo verse gives a hint at struggles in holding some of the lower notes.
Tonight, I Celebrate My Love For You is up next. The original (by Peabo Bryson and Roberta Flack in 1983) is far better. Katie’s vocals are quite delicate here, and are complimented by the soulful tones of Peter. The piano and strings give the vocals enough room to breathe. This should probably have been the lead single.
Sixth track Cherish is actually quite a good strong cover of the Kool & The Gang classic. Hard beats and dance hand claps suggest a dance track while a delicate sounding guitar plays. The song builds nicely, with some warm backing vocals, but Peter’s vocals are the most confident and strong here.
Next up is The Two Of Us opens with some tinkling piano, before bursting into beats and Katie’s vocals. This appears to be the first of four original songs on the album (i certainly don’t recognise it). It’s quite a good strong pop song, and probably should have been the lead single – a good strong way to introduce the public to the concept to this then-husband and wife team.
This is followed by I Come Down, again, appearing to be an original song. This is a guitar-led, gentle indie song that reminds me a little of some Beatles songs, or lighter Oasis tracks. It’s another strong track, with some delicious sounding strings, although at times Katie’s vocals sound slightly affected.
A potentially great duet is up next – Don’t Go Breaking My Heart (the classic Elton John and Kiki Dee – or more recently with RuPaul). It certainly opens with the energy of the latter, but then gives way to electronic hand claps, and some disappointing cheap synth sounds. Thankfully some strings come along, but this isn’t enough to rescue it. Peter’s vocals aren’t strong enough to carry this song, whereas Katie sounds at home with this track, particularly in the chorus.
To Die For follows this track, and this seems to be another original track. It’s quite an epic ballad track – on the same scale as the opening track – rich with strings, strong piano and bass. It sounds like something that you’d expect from a Disney theme – I can almost picture the animated montage sequence.
The classic track from Dirty Dancing – I’ve Had The Time Of My Life is the penultimate track to get the Katie and Peter treatment. From the opening beat, I feel like I’m about to witness murder. The dance handclaps and Peter’s vocal on this track make me feel like this is going to be dreadful. Katie manages to carry this track pretty well. Musically it’s a bit clunky, but then it can never ever beat the Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes original. There’s also some dreadful swirling synths at about 3m 10s. Peter fails in his delivery of THAT ‘and I owe it all to you!‘ near the end.
The album closes with Lullaby, a simple acoustic guitar song, and again, another original song. Both Peter and Katie fare well here. It’s a simple track, and neither are straying from a careful mid-range.
Love or hate brand Andre and Price, this album isn’t actually so bad. Considering that it was apparently originally only meant to be privately recorded songs for each other, but were then coaxed by a record exec into being released as a full public album – it’s not so bad.
It’s made mostly from cover songs that most people would know at least a few of, but sadly it doesn’t break new ground at all with these. Their vocals are pretty generic (with Peter sounding like a tired Michael Jackson, and Katie like a forgettable one of the Spice Girls), but certainly not as uncomfortable as the later ‘leaked’ studio recordings.
The album itself attracted many tongue-in-cheek favourable reviews on Amazon, but still managed to reach #8 in the UK. However, the label dropped them, and a large number of copies of this album were reported to have been ‘found’ in a barn.
They were clearly in love, and this is how they wanted to show it, and share it. The public just didn’t care.
- POP RESCUE 2015 RATING: 3 / 5
- 2006 UK CHART POSITION: #8, certified Gold.
- POP RESCUE COST: £1.99 from a British Heart Foundation store.