Martine McCutcheon

You, Me & Us

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    7
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AllMusic Review by

Martine McCutcheon's debut album arrived on a wave of public goodwill that virtually guaranteed success. Over 22 million viewers tuned in to watch the final scenes of her tragic character Tiffany Raymond-Mitchell on the hit U.K. soap Eastenders. Of course, as many a popular actor turned musician has learned the hard way, escaping the shadow of a much-loved character can be difficult. McCutcheon has a greater claim than most to a recording career though. Before her success as an actress she was in girl group Milan and lent vocals to a few dance tracks. She also has a strong, expressive voice, as befits a stage school graduate. The majority of You, Me & Us is made up of mid-tempo ballads which seem custom-made for adult contemporary radio. This sound is a good fit for McCutcheon, playing on her girl next door appeal and placing her alongside her idols Barbra Streisand and Celine Dion. Fans of those artists will certainly find much to enjoy here. Her voice soars on the chart-topping power ballad "Perfect Moment," and the mournful kitchen sink drama of "Talking in Your Sleep." Acoustic pop numbers such as "I've Got You" and "Love Me" have strong hooks, and if nothing on the record particularly excites, there's nothing which will have you reaching for the skip button either. A gutsy cover of Liza Minnelli's signature "Maybe This Time" is a fitting closer for an album which successfully buries the ghost of Tiffany Mitchell while retaining the underdog made good appeal which makes McCutcheon such a likeable performer.

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