Entertainment

Sunday 4 December 2016

Music: Wasn't Expecting That by Jamie Lawson **

(Universal)

Published 15/04/2011 | 05:00

Ever since Justin Bieber was first discovered playing his little heart out on YouTube, record company execs have been trawling through the site in a bid to uncover the next big thing. And with 20 hours of footage uploaded every minute, they have their work cut out.

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For Devon singer-songwriter Jamie Lawson, YouTube was a blessing. Thanks to his videos, he was noticed by Ian Dempsey of Today FM and the station helped give him significant exposure in Ireland. And it was one song in particular, Wasn't Expecting That, that struck a chord with many.

That song has its charms -- it's well written and delivered -- but anyone expecting this debut album to be chock-full with similarly composed material is going to be left feeling short-changed. Instead, this is a dull, samey collection somewhere between James Morrison and James Blunt.

The sentiments are heartfelt but undeniably schmaltzy: it takes an especially strong constitution to stomach I'm Gonna Love You and The Touch of Your Hand.

There are hints that Lawson's next album could be much better. The sparse North Shore suggests a talented musician beneath the blandishments, while The Last Time could yet become a festival favourite.

Burn it: Wasn't Expecting That

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