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Album Review: Lucy Spraggan – Join The Club

3 min read

Lucy never really fitted in with the whole X Factor crowd and her major label debut Join The Club is testament to this.  For a start she was the first contestant on the talent show to perform her own compositions, already showing she had a different outset to music. Not just content with performing other people’s songs and getting famous, she showed she had a real talent for writing a decent tune.

LucySpragganJoinTheClubHaving to leave the X Factor due to illness seems to have been a blessing in disguise. Who knows what amount of censorship and artistic constraint Lucy may have suffered had she gone on to win, but instead she’s got her head down and produced a surprisingly characteristic album for a debut on a major label.

There are influences galore on Join The Club, from Mumford and Sons to Ed Sheeran, Kate Nash to The Streets, Lucy’s self described style of A-Flop (a mixture of acoustic, folk and hip-hop) seems to fit her quite well.  Some of the songs will be recognised by The X Factor fans, such as Tea and Toast which doesn’t disappoint and is one of the albums strongest tracks. ‘His heart stopped twice but yet he survived and as he took his first breath his mother took her last’ sets the scene for Tea and Toast and the tone for the album. A record where many of the tracks make you really listen with insightful story telling and clever lyrics.

Mostly written while Lucy couch surfed across the USA, country music influences can be seen on tracks such as In a State and Light House, the latter complete with Mumford style guitars and rolling train drums. The Tourist is another highlight, breaking the rule of changing the tempo for the chorus but getting away with it. She does this by perfectly fitting witty lyrics over the melody such as ‘You try and catch me I’ll never stop running, with a pound in my pocket and my life inside a bag’.

Last Night is a fan favourite, being a journey through alcohol and mistakes. Lucy knows to finish the song before it gets too much, and from the sounds of it she couldn’t say the same about her alcohol consumption!

The album isn’t perfect however, but for someone so young and who is still learning her craft this is not surprising.  There seems to be a set difference in the song writing between the tracks we’ve heard before and the ones she has recently written. Maybe she was a little rushed but sometimes it seems if a bit more thought was put into some of the tracks it would have been a more rounded album.  Your too Young is a brave attempt, borrowing the style heavily from Pet Shop Boys West End Girls, but ultimately failing to work into a catchy song.

Lucy should be proud of this album.  She’s done her homework after leaving the X Factor and come out with a record that would sit well with more renowned artists.  A bit rough in areas but overall its witty, elegant and unmistakably hers.

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