James Arthur: ‘Impossible’ review

Despite the raw pain in James' voice, this cover of Shontelle's song still has all the trappings of X Factor production

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Released 9 Dec 2012 | Syco | By Paul Leake | Rating: 3
James Arthur: ‘Impossible’ review

Reviewing an X Factor winner's debut single is a strange undertaking because it is no indication of the artist they want to be. And James Arthur has the unenviable task of being the winner on the most derided run of the series so far.

'Impossible' succeeds best in the raw pain of James Arthur's voice. Modulating somewhere between winter blues and being devastatingly broken, his gravelly timbre helps to lift a middling R&B track into something with more substance. While this is a simpler production than Little Mix's bland 'Cannonball', the song still has a sanitised quality that comes with any X Factor production.

But hey, it's for charity and it manages the impossible task of being better than most other X Factor winners' singles.

Listen to James' debut single below: