Grinning Glaswegian David Sneddon became the latest in a long line of instant pop stars when he won Fame Academy, the BBC's answer to Pop Idol, which launched the careers of Will Young, Gareth Gates and others. Sneddon triumphed after ten weeks of hothouse training and live weekly showdowns to wander off with a recording contract and at least a year of celebrity living. Stop Living The Lie is his first stab at chart success - and a radically different departure from the debuts of golden guys Will Young and Gareth Gates.
The Fame Academy preferred their students to be all-round performers, not merely good-looking kids capable of excelling at karaoke. Sneddon has the voice, tinkles a piano with gusto, and pens his own tunes - and this first effort is impressively all his own work. For pop pickers not ready for the excitement of an original tune, Wet Wet Wet's Goodnight Girl and the Elton John classic Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me make up the rest of this offering. Sneddon's tune is a well-meaning ballad which shows off his sweet vocals and piano skills on an uplifting tip, but comes straight from the old school of songwriting. The squeaky-clean 24-year-old follows the recipe to the letter, and the result is a tune which is woefully deficient of any originality or sparky verve.
He sailed to the Fame Academy title on this safe card, causing a few young hearts to flutter along the way and winning the housewives' block vote. His music truly lives up to this, with a song that meanders incessantly along the featureless track marked "middle-of-the-road". Sneddon's profile isn't at the dizzying heights reached by Will and Gareth, and it would be a surprise to see his debut smash any chart records.