Today’s POP RESCUE from an uncertain fate, is the 2009 sixth album Revelation by British singer, songwriter, and television presenter, Peter Andre. Will this album be a Revelation, or will you want to keep it Behind Closed Doors? Read on…
This 11 track CD opens with the growling electric guitars of lead single Behind Closed Doors. Heavy bass drums thud down alongside stuttering drum machine snares, as Peter leads us through the first verse. He’s sounding like a combination of Bryan Adams and Darren Hayes, and gets to show off his vocal range towards the end. This is not really the Peter Andre that I’m used to, and this rockier sound sounds good, and the UK singles buying public agreed, giving him a #4 hit. We’re off to a good start.
A soft synth and electric piano is next by contrast as Distance arrives. We’re treated to the more familiar breathy and softer style of Peter, and in doing so I’m reminded of Justin Timberlake. It’s a nice slinky mid-tempo track.
That’s followed by Ready For Us, which contains a sample of Vivaldi’s Winter from The Four Seasons and it is expertly used here as swooping strings in the midst of modern beats. Peter’s back to singing to the ladies and asking to put their hands up if they’re ‘ready for love‘. He knows his audience, but this really should have the second single.
The Way You Move (Up In Here) follows that and we’re treated to some almost late 1980’s samples. Peter’s joined here by Tone, and the vocal harmonies work really over the synths and beats. There’s some great synth sounds in here, and possibly a funky little sax note or two, resulting in some serious foot tapping here.
Next it’s Call The Doctor, and we’re into heartfelt mid-tempo breathy tender tune. The production is slick and warm, and the vocals really do sound so warm and enveloping here. Peter sounds like he’s singlehandedly a supercharged Boyz II Men. Synths bubble around in the background interspersed by some tinkling piano. It is packed with layers.
That’s followed by Go Back, another slow track, with Peter reflecting on his mistakes. The song is loaded again with wonderful vocal harmonies, that sit over a simple finger-snap and percussive beat. Occasionally the tinkling piano arrives, with teasing flurries of strings. This sounds, like several of the tracks here, like the Michael Jackson songs that we should have had.
Sliding Doors is next, opening with some vintage film sounding strings, but this soon steps aside to allow some heavy bass drum and snare drop in as Peter opens the first verse. There’s a nice little string riff that’s in use here throughout that helps to add interest and sew it all together. It’s nice enough, but not as catchy as other songs here.
Outta Control is next up, sounding like it has fallen straight out of Xenomania‘s songbook. The phat synths growl along over a pumping dance beat as Peter’s affected vocals lead us through the verse to the chorus. The chorus is catchy, and the vocal effects are heavily applied here making Peter sound very distorted. This could easily have been a hit single for him, or Girls Aloud.
Next we’re on to XOXO (pronounced ‘ex-oh ex-oh’), and we’re back to Peter’s light vocals that seem to dance as effortlessly around this song as much as the psuedo-flute synth. Peter’s joined by The Jackie Boys on backing vocals here and this helps it to sound just so rich and warm. It’s a nice song, and reasonably catchy.
Penultimate track Replay is next, and Tone is back on the additional vocals, and it’s a fairly nice little RnB song, with oodles of wonderful vocal harmonies. However, the snare just doesn’t sit quite right here – it sounds almost real, whilst the rest of the instruments sound clearly synthetic. It just jars a little, but again it’s a nice song that grows.
The album closes with piano and strings that became the album’s second and final single Unconditional. It quickly steps into the Pop Idol winner suite of ballads, and it flopped in the UK, falling at #50. There’s no denying though, Peter is putting everything into this song vocally, and emotionally, as it is song about his relationship with Harvey Yorke – his former step-son with (by now) ex-wife Katie Price. The song builds and builds up, backed with an army of backing vocalists and a real orchestra.
Over all, this album is undeniably slick in its production, and is musically rich to listen to.
Peter’s performance is really strong here, and he is able to show that he can tackle the rockier and harder dance sounds, alongside the heartfelt ballad and epic orchestra songs. It’s a perfect showcase of his ability and a far cry from that image of him standing in a lake shirtless singing about a miss-tear-e-usss girl.
The breakdown of his marriage to Katie Price, his becoming a father, and a step-father, are all tackled here, and he sounds much more mature in this sound.
The highlights are Behind Closed Doors, Ready For Us and Outta Control for their sheer catchiness, and the latter two really should have been singles, perhaps with the equally as wonderful yet very different Unconditional left to the final single. Go Back and Sliding Doors felt like weaker points in this album, but only by a little.
There are many echoes of Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake here, and I think that is fair to compare to these, but Peter brings himself to this album, and gives you just enough of him to make sure that you can distinguish him and yet reap the same quality.
It’s therefore no revelation, that this album is pretty darn good.
- POP RESCUE 2021 RATING: 4 / 5
- 2009 UK ALBUM CHART PEAK: #3, certified Platinum by the BPI.
- POP RESCUE COST: 76p from a Discogs.com seller.