To forget one Peter Andre number one might seem a misfortune. To forget two… yet here he is, sneaking into the rather congested pre-Christmas schedules with a song that, strictly as a song, isn’t so horrible.
“I Feel You” is a Michael Jackson pastiche – the route to credibility for at least one future star. But this isn’t biting “Off The Wall” or “Billie Jean” – it’s trying something more ambitious, going for Jackson’s limpid, mother-me ballad style. And the writer – ultra-minor late 80s act Glen Goldsmith – has a decent day in the office putting a song together that might pass for a distant, impoverished cousin of “She’s Out Of My Life”. “I feel you running away from my love” – that’s an OK place to start a sad song from.
The problem – and this really could have been predicted – is that Peter Andre is utterly unequipped to go anywhere near a Jackson ballad, even a really ersatz one. The big hook – “IN my heart I –“ gets strangled again and again until listening starts to feel cruel. He puts the pathetic in sympathetic. And the simp, to be honest.
But that’s not even the really feeble thing. On the comments thread for “Flava”, Weej correctly noted that Peter Andre always felt a bit wrong as a pop star, like he should have been playing a streetwise dude on a daytime soap and there’d been a horrible mix-up. And this sense that the guy had been promoted above his natural vocation continues here, when, searching for an ad lib that’ll communicate his heartbreak and abjection, Andre repeatedly goes for “Well, well, well”. “Well, well, well” is not a thing bereft R&B lovermen say, it’s a thing ruddy-faced policemen in the 1950s say. And even if lovermen did say it, they wouldn’t say it quite this weakly. It’s like placeholder “ooh, ooh” or “yeah yeahs” have been through Google translate and back: pop as second language, and second rate.