Saturday, 20 March 2010

2002 Gareth Gates: Unchained Melody

In terms of Pop Idol, when I said (on the previous entry) that "We'll be meeting the 'losing' members of that trio sooner rather than later", I wasn't joking - Gates was runner up to Will Young in that self same programme. And being a magna cum laude graduate to Young's summa, he didn't get first dibs on the exclusive original song, which might explain why the old war horse of 'Unchained Melody' is led out of the stable for one more canter. Maybe, but it won't explain why, with Robson and Jerome's 1995 version hardly a distant memory, the general public felt they simply needed yet another version of it.

Gates at least tries to do something a bit different on his take, but in reducing the once clockwork solemnity to a generic, cabaret-lite clapathon then the effect, if not quite akin to setting Chopin's 'Funeral March' to a funky drummer rhythm, is no less misguided and misunderstanding as to what the song is all about. Again, Gates can carry a tune, albeit with a voice heavy on the quiver, but then you'd expect no less after all the hullabaloo he'd been through on the show. The problem is that you get no more either, certainly nothing worth 'idolising' and I'd be happy to stake the farm on the proposition that, without the show and the public's affection for the close but no cigar pretty boy with a stammer, then this particular workhorse would have been sent to the knacker's yard and boiled down into glue long before it got anywhere near the top ten, let alone number one.

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