Polydor - 2003 - 48 minutes

Alex Parks became the second winner of BBC's 'Fame Academy' only a few months ago. It's hardly been enough time for her to produce her debut album but here it is. And 'Introduction' is, in a word, disappointing.

While much was made of Alex's potential on the show, her first offering makes you feel as though you've been let down somewhere along the way. Only seven out of thirteen songs on the record are original, and only two of these, 'Maybe That's What it Takes' and 'Dirty Pretty Words', are really memorable. The rest feel as though they've been cobbled together extremely quickly.

The number of cover versions here, including John Lennon's 'Imagine' and Christina Aguilera's 'Beautiful', screams lack of effort. Ultimately, it would have been more worthwhile if all involved had taken the time to put together an original first record instead of trying to benefit from the Christmas sales period. This half-hearted effort is certainly not going to win Alex any fans and may annoy those she already had.

Manufactured pop bands have produced better material than this and even if you're a fan of Alex's irritatingly quivering vocal, this 'Introduction' is definitely one you'll do well to skip.

Katie Moten

Tracklisting: Maybe That's What it Takes - Cry - Dirty Pretty Words - Imagine - Not Your Average Kind of Girl - Mad World - Everybody Hurts - Beautiful - Stones & Feathers - Here Comes the Rain Again - Yellow - Wandering Soul - Over Conscious