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Image © 2001 Virgin Records Ltd 

(13 April 2001) Former Eastenders star Martine McCutcheon's second album is entitled Wishing (Virgin (UK)7243 8 50527 29, 2000). The stunning young woman's first album You, Me and Us featured the hit single "Perfect Moment," which, heavily publicised by the label, took the UK by storm. McCutcheon is currently receiving widespread critical acclaim for her lead role in My Fair Lady in a West End revival of the classic musical. An album of original and cover pop music, Wishing has something for everyone, and Martine's vocals are mixed way up throughout.

Upbeat, highly accessible pop-oriented tracks, including "I'm Over You," "Every Time," "Love Changes Nothing" and the title track "Wishing" are lushly arranged with stunning lead vocals and lovely harmony backing vocals. "Tonight" and "Everybody" are dance club style numbers that features brilliant keyboards, layers of strings, thick bass, percussion and other effects.

Martine's cover of Donna Summer's "On The Radio" is stunning in every respect; lush arrangements perfectly support an evocatively sung vocal line without the loss of the song's original disco flavour. The orchestral arrangements behind "Together We Are So Beautiful" blend with a lovely vocal in a similarly styled track.

The album's ballads are "You Mean The World To Me" and "Cried So Many Nights"; Martine's lead is sensually sung over light contemporary arrangements. "Teardrops" is a gentler adult contemporary track featuring a sweeter vocal line "What You Get" is a lushly arranged upbeat pop number with a lovely hook. Martine's lead vocal is stunning.

Martine McCutcheon's second album Wishing is a comprehensive collection of highly accessible contemporary pop tunes certain to please a wide range of audiences. It shows further artistic development in the pop direction since her debut album and with stunning production quality afforded by significant investment from the record company is certainly worth a journey. A very nice listen indeed.

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