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Music Review

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Coming Home to You


Artist: Michael Ball
Label: Decca Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 22 March 2019

Michael Ball releases his first solo album for over four years. Entitled Coming Home To You, the record is released via Decca Records and hopes to follow the success of his previous two albums with fellow singer Alfie Boe, which saw two No.1 albums, two Classic Brit Awards and over a million album sales. Here, yet another talent is revealed as Ball presents for the first time a handful of self-penned tracks...

Michael Ball's new album starts promisingly with his new song 'Home to You', an easy listening, country-tinged track. ‘Tennessee Dreams’ is Ball’s tribute to the greats in country music, as he gives a nod to those who have inspired him over the years. But then ‘All Dance Together’ spoils the vibe. It feels like a watered down Eurovision entry.

These original songs feature alongside such hits as Elvis Presley’s ‘I Just Can’t Help Believin’’, Dolly Parton’s whimsical ‘Love Is Like A Butterfly’ (on which Michael harmonises with himself) and Cliff Richard’s plaintive ‘Miss You Nights’, all personal favourites of the star.

The 14 songs (50 min, 26 sec) here represent a strange mix. I couldn't help be reminded of Ricky Gervais's character, David Brent from The Office as I listened to some of these tracks. There's an episode of that BBC comedy series where Brent picks up a guitar and entertains his team, inappropriately, with some songs he's written himself. Sadly, it's pretty clear he's "stolen" little bits from well known songs and patched them together. And that's how some of the songs on here feel.

'Home to You' is not half bad, but why would anyone include 'Love Is Like A Butterfly' (which is such a camp and cheesy offering) or 'Bright Eyes' (which just sounds cheap). A better idea would probably have been to stay with the soft country theme throughout.

Even the cover irritated me. Ball is looking all doe-eyed at the camera like a little puppy in a dog's home. You can almost hear him saying: "Please take me home".

While I'm not the world's biggest Michael Ball fan (although I did enjoy his 2014 album, If Everyone Was Listening), I can't help feeling that he dropped the ball (if you'll excuse the pun) on this one. Even his die hard fans may find this a little hard to warm to. Even your grandma will have a job getting her ears around this.

Track listing:

01. Home To You (Original)
02. I Just Can’t Help Believin’
03. Tennessee Dreams (Original)
04. All Dance Together (Original)
05. Sail On
06. Goin’ Back
07. Miss You Nights
08. Lost Without You
09. To Love Somebody
10. Love Is Like A Butterfly
11. I Have To Say I Love You In A Song
12. Blood Red Moon (Original)
13. Bright Eyes
14. When The Loving Was Easy


Nick Smithson

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