Not to be outdone by Independent Television's success with talent shows such as Popstars and the like, the BBC launched it's own 2002 talent show 'Fame Academy'. The 'crucial' difference this time was a 'reality TV' element that had the contestant's daily lives under constant filmed scrutiny as they went about their musical 'education'. Sneddon won the first series, signed a £1,000,000 deal with Mercury for his troubles and the self written 'Stop Living The Lie', was his first single.
Being the sensitive singer/songwriter type, Sneddon's song is a fey, 'Streets Of London' type "all the lonely people" observation of a man and woman who are more than just a bit glum (he's "Drowning his tears" while she "died long ago deep down inside") but who 'save' each other through love via a chance meeting. A simple enough concept I suppose but one that congeals into stodge through Sneddon's studiously overwritten lyric ("She stands alone in a place where no one knows her name, she catches them staring they turn around and vanish the frame") and torturous, shoe-horned rhymes ("He sits alone at a table in a small cafe, drowning his tears in a bottomless cup of coffee") that turn a blind eye to sympathetic character development and instead hack out its sombre worthiness with the subtlety of a mallet blow to the bluntest of chisels.
And to what end? Sneddon says "We all have a saviour, so do yourself a favour. Stop living the lie", but what 'lie' is he referring to? That, following Aristophanes's Speech from Plato's 'Symposium', each individual is only half of what they are meant to be without a partner and so we should wake up to the fact that in living alone we're all dead "deep down inside" maybe? Maybe, but sorry Dave, I didn't come here to be lectured and patronised, and as the gulf between myself and those that obviously did is too wide for me to bridge I'll finish by saying it's disheartening that the best any 'Fame Academy' can produce is a milksop who makes Clifford T Ward sound like Henry Rollins. This is not one of my favourite number ones, it has to be said.