Music: You need to work on a lot more than your abs, Peter

Poor Peter Andre, he had it all: tight abs, cheeky grin and a million

pre-pubescent girls hanging on his every lyric. Then he buttoned up his shirt, hooked up with some heavyweight musos and tried to do a George Michael. Big mistake,

says Mike Higgins.

We'd never seen anything like it. Here was a man who could lead an entire chorus - albeit one made up exclusively of prepubescent girls - with the merest twitch of his shirt: the higher it went, the more eye- watering the screams. Following incredible success in Australia, Britain and the world over, he seemed to have everything: money, women, a seemingly permanent residency in the Top 10 and the image of his cute features lodged in every mind in the land.

Suddenly, however, it all went wrong for Andre. Perhaps it was his decision to grow up, to get a haircut and drop the toy-boy image; or maybe the fickle adolescents had discovered a harder body, a softer voice and a prettier face. Whatever happened, even a brave comeback couldn't stop him going down in straight sets at the Australian Men's Hardcourt Championships last weekend. Tough game, tennis.

Facetious it may be, but there is a lesson for Peter Andre in Andre Agassi's descent from teeny heart-throb megastar to mature, well-adjusted has-been.

It's not that all Andres are doomed to respectable failure should they attempt to shed their under-14 fan base (Andre Previn, poor man, still can't leave the house for fear of flying knickers) - it's just that his current fans' older siblings, Andre's new target audience, aren't likely to want their kid sisters' cast-offs. Indeed, so insistent were rumours of Andre's failure to attract the chino pound of late that I mistakenly implied last week on these very pages that Andre's latest single had failed to chart at all in the Top 50, when, er, it wasn't due for release until this week. Sorry, Pete.

With the release of his second album, Time, Andre's career is on a cusp. Last year marked the 10th anniversary of Faith, the album that transformed George Michael from pin-up to serious artist in the eyes of his fans and from which, court cases notwithstanding, he has not looked back.

As Gary Barlow will tell you, however, such a graduation is far from easy. Post-Take That, pundits cited Barlow as the figure with enough ability to survive life after a boy-band. (Ironically, a good chunk of the three million who spent their pocket money on Peter Andre's debut, Natural, would have been traumatised ex-Take That devotees). In the year following Take That's demise, however, Barlow proved conspicuously silent - rumours of the troubled gestation of Open Road, his solo project, vied with reports of Robbie Williams's high-jinks in the music press.

Perhaps talent will out in the end, but for the moment, at least, Andre would do well to take note of the surprising durability of Gary Barlow's former workmates. Williams' sparky pastiche of Britpop and Mark Owen's musical sweet nothings have shown Gary that sub-Elton John balladeering isn't the only way to win fans old enough to buy an album with a credit card.

Andre's latest album has upped the ante and brought with it a whole new image for the singer. A flash of Andre's famously beefcake tum wouldn't have gone a long way with Andre's latest partners either, including as they did Montell Jordan, Warren G, Coolio and the Refugee Camp All Stars. It is probably over-produced and it is certainly highly commercial, but Time deserves attention for a number of reasons. First because Andre is honest enough not to play down the assistance of his heavyweight collaborators, and second because at no point during Time's canny mix of soul and swingbeat does the 24-year-old sound out of his depth.

If musically Andre potentially has what is required to take on George Michael, then it is the relatively poor sales performance of his album that ought to give cause for concern. The first two singles last summer both did well but October's "Lonely", though Andre's sixth Top 10 in 18 months, failed to stick around in the charts. Time then charted in at 28 on its release in November last year.

Andre won't mind that by and large his singles still appeal to the teenage market, but he ought to be concerned that his second album appears at the moment to have mass appeal to neither young nor the older buyer he is pursuing. The release this week of "All Night, All Right" may kickstart Time, but, if it fails to, it would be something of a pity to have to see Andre go back to the drawing board.

There's a lot worse than Time selling a lot more, and nobody wants to see Peter Andre have to break open another six-pack.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.


ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager - Commercial Training

    £30000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The business development manage...

    The Richmond Fellowship Scotland: Executive Director

    £66,192 per annum including car allowance of £5,700): The Richmond Fellowship ...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

    £16575 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity is ava...

    Recruitment Genius: Office Junior

    £18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Day In a Page

    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
    Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

    Why are we addicted to theme parks?

    Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
    Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

    Iran is opening up again to tourists

    After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
    10 best PS4 games

    10 best PS4 games

    Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
    Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

    Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

    Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
    Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

    ‘Can we really just turn away?’

    Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

    ... and not just because of Isis vandalism
    Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

    Girl on a Plane

    An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent