Sony/BMG - 2005 - 53 minutes

Will Young returns with his long-awaited third album 'Keep On', following the success of his debut 'From Now On' and the follow-on 'Friday's Child'. This has certainly been worth the wait.

Establishing himself as credible artist - who even remembers that he won 'Pop Idol' these days? - Young seems determined to get to the top of his crafts, both as a recording artist and performer, recently turning his hand to acting in 'Mrs Henderson Presents'.

With 'Keep On' we get a blend of Young's very varied musical style, from soulful, mushy ballads to quirky up-tempo numbers. Equally impressive in his endeavours in both funk and smulch, 'Keep On' shows Young at his best to date. Immensely personal and heartfelt lyrics with often zany accompaniments set Young apart from his contemporaries. This is, by no means, your average pop record, with the singer himself co-writing many of the best tracks.

Opening with hip-swinging vibes in the catchy 'Keep On', followed by the equally cheery 'Switch It On', Young sets the party scene. But, just as quickly, he jolts us back to reality with the powerful ballad 'All Time Love', where his soft vocals drown the accompanying music, his voice setting the song alight single-handedly.

Tracks like 'Ain't Such a Bad Place To Be' and 'Who Am I?' are not what you'd expect from Young, but show his versatility and willingness to take the odd risk. And that's what it's all about if he wants to survive in pop music, particularly with all the new reality television show products snapping at his heels.

Regardless of whether the tracks featured here end up being huge commercial successes or underrated tunes that stick around through the years, 'Keep On' should be evidence enough that Will Young has pulled out all the stops to be the best he can be.

Nice to see someone making the most of a lucky break.

Linda McGee

Tracklisting: Keep On - Switch It On - All Time Love - Ain't Such A Bad Place To Be - Think It Over - Who Am I - Happiness - Save Yourself - Madness - All I Want - Think About It - Home