Album: Joe McElderry, Classic (UCJ Music)

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Having triumphed in two TV talent-shows, there is perhaps some validity in Joe McElderry's label calling him "Britain's favourite singer"; but that can't disguise his shortcomings whenever the Popstar to Operastar winner strays outside the show-tune comfort-zone of songs like "Solitaire".

Attempting "Time to Say Goodbye" and "Nessun Dorma" simply highlights the gulf separating him from a Bocelli or a Pavarotti. It's perfectly decent karaoke delivery, with McElderry rolling the Italian syllables of "Canto Della Terra" round his mouth like he's savouring a fine wine; but his already prominent vibrato becomes noticeably less steady the longer he has to sustain an intonation, which is probably why this album leans so heavily on non-classical material.

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