Bloody sensational. I may be a long-term fan of his, but this just blew me away when I watched it for the first time this morning. Will makes the odd misstep with his videos (notably ‘Grace’ and ‘Switch It On’), but this is perfect. If this fails to ignite what is already a very commercial (whilst still remaining a distinctively ‘Will’) piece, the music market really doesn’t make sense anymore. Enjoy.
Will Young’s new single ‘Grace’ is finally released today, making this the timing of this performance on ITV1’s ‘Here Come the Boys’ pretty canny. I’m sure it’ll help sales too that it’s far and away his best live performance of ‘Grace’ to date!
I couldn’t enjoy this song more, and you can get it both in record stores and iTunes (version 1 with video and version 2 with superb remixes).
Posted in music, popular culture, Will Young
Tagged Grace, Here Come The Boys, iTunes, iTunes Music Store, ITV1, Let It Go, music single, music video, single, Will Young
Whilst I really would have preferred a jazzy performance video for Will’s latest single, this one is very cute, fits in the quirky style of ‘Friday’s Child’ and is guaranteed to get people talking. Will does well to remember, whether he gets it right or not, that it’s not all about the music – if they’re not talking about you too then you’ll get lost in the crowd. It’s unlikely anyone’ll stop talking about Will any time soon…
‘Grace’ is released on 1st December, and is currently available to buy on iTunes here.
I’d worried it would be a brand-damaging exercise, that it would be a step back. I’d worried he’d be open to needless criticism and comparison. I’d worried he’d fluff the song. But Will went onto the X-Factor last weekend and blew everyone away with ‘Grace’. You can see why. And far from being a damaging experience, it only enhanced his reputation – show owner Simon Cowell was the first to leap to his feet and a standing ovation, Will gave one of the best performances of his upcoming second single from ‘Let It Go’, and Pop Idol seemed a very very long time ago.
‘Grace’ can (and should) be purchased here.
On the first listen of Will Young‘s first studio album in three years, he seems to have achieved the impossible and made the difficult compromise of moving on from the more experimental ‘Keep On’, without losing his trademark sound entirely. It’s regrettable that the album takes so few risks, but there is a definite evolution on key tracks like ‘Grace’, ‘Tell Me The Worst’ and ‘I Won’t Give Up’, with Will using producers other than Steve Lipson for the first time. It’s a change which without question pays off – the album’s sound is the most consistent of any in his catalogue, and there’s also little doubt that RCA’s boast that ‘Let It Go’ was sellable in any territory is actually true – good timing, particularly considering this album showcases his best vocals of his career. It has however lost a sense of innovation, and a freshness which ‘Friday’s Child’ had in almost every track – it feels almost too thought out. I’m sure it’s an effect of his feeling more settled in himself, and will probably have a strong commercial effect, but I miss the vibrancy of some of his earlier work.
Second single ‘Grace’ is without question the standout track of the album, showing subtleties in his ability, whilst giving him a rare chance on this album to cut loose. It’s frustrating that the same edge is missing in so much of the rest of the work – whilst the orchestral arrangements are quite beautiful musically, I don’t feel they show his abilities as a singer off as well as the more acoustic, gospel choir-based numbers he’d perfected earlier in his career. His sheer musicality, continued refusal to make corporate music and clear joy in his work more than make up for what are after all small disappointments however; the weakest tracks are far better than most new material out there. It’s an 8/10 for me overall, but click below for the track-by-track review.
Posted in music, popular culture, Will Young
Tagged Are You Happy, Changes, Disconnected, Free My Mind, Grace, I Won't Give Up, If Love Equals Nothing, Let It Go, Love, Simple Philosophy, Tell Me The Worst, This is Who I Am, Will Young, Won't Look Down, You Don't Know
On Friday Will Young did a live session for BBC Radio 2, to promote the launch on Monday of his new album ‘Let It Go’. I know it’s the same song as my last video post, but it really is so good, this arrangement is so much fun, and I find him more enjoyable as a performer than ever. ‘Grace’ of course is now confirmed as second single in mid-December and if the fates are kind, it’ll be huge…
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For those of you who don’t know me that well, Will’s been an important example to me for years. His ‘Pop Idol’ victory (against all conventional wisdom), his display of individuality for ‘Friday’s Child’ and being honest about his discomfort with his life’s status quo during ‘Keep On’ have all taught me a great deal, regularly articulating where I was or where I wanted to be in life. Some people call this a talent in knowing how to pick the right songs, I just find it reassuring to see a public figure with so much ability and personality functioning as fully as they’re supposed to, even with all the requisite ups and downs.
I’ve also been lucky in having opportunities to take his picture, and to be able to show others this towering example of a young, out gay man who has become the superstar he was predicted to be. Friday was no exception, and you can click on the photo below to see the others in the series:
For those of you who just can’t wait till ‘Let It Go’ on the 29th of this month…
For a man who started his career perfecting his ability to deliver on TV it’s scarcely conceivable that he’s actually improving. It’s a killer delivery of a song at least the equal of anything on ‘Friday’s Child’. This song, in many ways far more than the current single ‘Changes’ has turned heads and ‘Let It Go’ is increasingly looking like a very significant album.