BBC Review Of Abstract Theory
Stumbling across the land they come. Famous, yet not. Successful, but newly stripped of their once-upon-an-arena-tours. Clawing their way from the freshly dug graves of former supergroups, for every Justin Timberlake there's a Mark Owen. For every Beyonce Knowles a Melanie Blatt, and as for the solo Spice Girls...look away, child. Someone should call the cleansing department and get that mess cleared up.
Which is why the appearance of Richard Abidin Breen, better known as Abs from 5ive (RIP) confirms the trend for 'most unlikely to' whilst quashing music industry jeers. This boy can sing, and despite a tendency to fall back upon laced rap patois, debut album Abstract Theory is capable of floating alone amidst a sea of chart craft.
The first solo release from this slam dunkin' funkster was "What You Got" in the summer of 2002, riding the Shaggy inspired reggae wave with a splash of Diet Lilt pop-lite. Then nothing, thanks to then label manager Simon Cowell ditching his promo duties in favour of fuelling his own ascendancy via American Idol. Yet this may have worked out pretty well, doling out a microscopic Marmite smear of Abs ooze so that pop fans don't get too bored, too soon. Did someone mention Hear'Say?
Bouncing back with "Stop Sign", a re-working of Mel Wynn's Motown Classic, Abs sounds at his best when singing of thwarted lust. He has that mucky pup thing going on - a Spar brand male Aguilera while "Turn Me Up" marries Har Mar Superstar with S Club for an enjoyably daft disco breakdown.
Forthcoming single "7 Ways" enlists the services of Brian Higgins, the Sugababes/Girls Aloud guru who teams his charge with new BMG signee Eve to create a duet of B-boy bravado; simple, na´ve and stupidly catchy in execution. You'll be elephant-juicing in the bathroom mirror before you realise it (try it, you'll see what I mean).
Granted, there are a couple of real clunkers on here (a hi-NRG remix of the cricket theme from the telly in "Back To Limbo" holds all the sick fascination of a septic scab), but nothing that a Woolworths special offer couldn't fix.
You wanna poke fun at Abs? You're gonna have to get past me first, and I kick like a girl...
Reviewer: Bren O'Callaghan