Exclusive: first review of Nicholas McDonald's debut album

Our rating: three stars

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The vacant stools that Westlife left behind when they split have been taken up by Scotland's very own Nicholas McDonald - or so it seems.

The teenage popstar won our hearts on the X-Factor and now he hopes to do the same with his debut album In the Arms of an Angel, which is out on March 17.

Some will say that the St Aidan's High School pupil, who signed with RCA Records, has rushed his first effort: yes, it boasts the genuinely catchy debut single Answerphone, but elsewhere he gives his fans only a glimmer of just what he is capable of.

Too many cover versions spoil his debut - but can we expect anything more given that he came from a show that does not encourage originality?

Criticism aside, he does cover the type of power ballads his fans want to hear, including Westlife's Flying Without Wings, Bruno Mars' Just The Way You Are and Adele's Someone Like You, which show off perfectly his vocal talents.

Superman and When The Stars Go Blue also perfectly compliment his voice, and a cover of If You're Not The One resurrects the Daniel Bedingfield track for a new generation.

Nicholas is a highly likeable local lad with a bright future ahead of him if his live performance at the recent X-Factor show in Glasgow is anything to go by.

But it would have been nice to see more of the teenager himself in this album, and who knows maybe with time that will come.

Tracklisting

1. Superman

2. Answerphone

3. When The Stars Go Blue

4. In The Arms of An Angel

5. A Thousand Years

6. Smile

7. Someone Like You

8. Flying Without Wings

9. Just The Way You Are

10. If You're Not The One

11. Solid Gold

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