Shayne Ward

Breathless

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Having released the obligatory album of ballads and boy band-style songs on his debut self-titled album, Shayne Ward, the 2005 X Factor winner, came up with a second album that was vastly different. Ward teamed up with producer Ryan Tedder and the Swedish production team at Maratone, who had previously worked with Jennifer Lopez, Natasha Bedingfield, and Britney Spears, among others, and gone were the sickly sweet ballads that changed key as they neared their conclusions (just to remind listeners that the end is nigh). In their place was a set of uptempo R&B numbers more akin to Justin Timberlake -- even down to using the letter "U" instead of "You" in the titles "No U Hang Up" and "U Got Me So," although the album did have its low moments, with "Damaged" sounding like a Peter Andre faux reggae castoff, and "Tangled Up" was a rerun of Wham!'s "Everything She Wants" with an early-'80s-style electro drumbeat. "Until You" was a return to the ballads of old, and the '80s were also revisited on a cover of the S.O.S. Band's "Just Be Good to Me," with more than a hint of the bassline from Beats International's dub version. Shayne Ward fans who had bought the debut album, even casual observers who voted for him on The X Factor, would have been surprised by the complete change in direction and it didn't appear to do him any harm, either, hitting number two behind his successor, Leona Lewis.

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