Album: Rhydian, Rhydian, (Sony BMG)

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The Independent Culture

If there was one thing that made 2007's 'X Factor' bearable, it was the bizarre runner-up, Rhydian Roberts.

A pock-marked, ice cream haired 24-year-old from the Brecon Beacons who liked to perform in fur coats, he was anything but the usual cookie-cutter Cowell puppet. His debut album shows his operatic baritone off to fine effect. Taking in standards from the worlds of pop-classical, Broadway and rock, he belts out every song with unironic conviction, leaving you admiring the guy even if you didn't want to.

Pick of the album: Welsh Side Story: 'Somewhere'

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