Matt Cardle may be a name you know as a previous winner of the British TV Talent Show 'The X-Factor'. He won the show and in my view was one of the best contestants the show had ever seen. The Fire is his second album, which takes his musical direction back to where he was, prior to the singing competition. His first album 'Letters' received positive feedback and had some very good songs for a first release. Starlight was my personal favourite. Anyways back to his current album, which is out to purchase right now on So What Recordings, after he parted ways with Sony. The standard album is 10 tracks long and there is a deluxe edition available too. The album instantly opens with the lead single, It's Only Love. The song hits you straight away with Cardle's unique voice and keeps you hooked on what is probably the best song on the album. Good way to start. The video is very well made and when combined with the lyrics, it really makes you think about what he is singing about. Compared to his previous album and performances on the X-Factor he has developed significantly as an artist. I would even suggest his voice has improved. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6Brc15v2Dk The Fire is the second track which again is a very well made 'Alternative' song. It's hard to describe what genre he fits into, but again he makes use of his unique vocal ability to add real depth to his music. For Every Heartbreak starts acoustically but then a pounding drum beat takes over and carries the song forward with a great beat. Slightly more rocky edge to this track but still fabulous. Water is an acoustic piano number with just Matt's voice and a piano. Simple, effective and poignant. Anywhere brings back the acoustic guitar with a slightly calmer track than the rocky For Every Heartbreak. Yet still his voice is so prominent and powerful, it makes a change to certain pop acts that rely more on noise than real singing talent. Anyone Else is scheduled to be the album's second single but there is no hint as to when it shall be released as such. It's quite a poppy track yet has a brilliant guitar riff throughout which gives the track a great edge. Empire carries a similar theme to Anyone Else but is 'heavier' in the sense that there is greater emphasis on the instruments as well as Cardle's voice. All That Matters is another solo piano number which really demonstrates how excellent his range is. Incredible high notes combined with a really soothing tone make it a fantastically relaxing track. Lately takes elements of All That Matters and adds a beat underneath to carry the track onwards. Combining his voice with that of a choir to create a wonderful vocal blast which soothes the soul and is brilliant to chill out to. Track 10 sees Matt revisit one of the songs he performed in the show, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face. He calls it the 2012 version as it is very different from the original song. His voice with another acoustic piano makes a fantastic track. You really can't fault his vocal ability at all throughout the album. Overall this album is a fantastic demonstration of how good Matt can sing. A worthy winner of the show, and deserves more credit than just 'An X-Factor Winner'. He has real vocal ability and can out-sing many artists in the charts with ease. A wonderful album from beginning to end, and if you like your Alternative/Pop/Rock, it is a must buy. I give this top marks, 5/5.