Saturday Flashback: X Factor Finalists 2008 – Hero

Lurking in the background.

Tim: It’s probably time we discussed this. We’ve referred to it briefly on a couple of occasions, and ever since then it’s been lurking in the background, waiting to rear its beautiful, graceful head.

Tim: Now, I think this is marvellous.

Tom: It’s not beautiful, it’s not graceful, and it’s not marvellous.

Tim: It is, though. The emotion of the original is all there.

Tom: Yes, it is. Maudlin, saccharine emotion. Only this time, just in case it wasn’t drummed into you enough by the song, it’s backed up with Ken Burns Effect-photos of soldiers emoting. The only thing it’s missing is a big block of scrolling text which says “FEEL SAD NOW HURRRR”.

Tim: Oh, I have no problems whatsoever admitting the video is appalling – it is, by far, the worst thing about the song. It is the music where it shines, though, such as the key change – fairly impressive already in the original, here it’s been turned up to about 27. The only bad part of it is the vocals from Rachel at 2:33, which are just nasty, but they can be turned down a bit.

Tom: Musically, there’s nothing wrong with it. I’ll agree with that. It’s just so goddamned syrupy that it sends me into the musical version of hyperglycaemia.

Tim: Everything else? Brilliant, and I challenge you to provide an actual reason otherwise.

Tom: There’s a comment on YouTube from “PeterKaay94”, which says “How can you dislike this video? It’s for the armed forces you dicks.” I had a whole riff here about other fund-raising efforts that said commenter would then have to approve of, but frankly it just got a bit disrespectful so I’ve cut it.

Tim: Well as far as I’m concerned the cause has got nothing to do with it, and Mr 94 is speaking out of his arse. A song should stand out on its own merits, and being for charity should be no excuse whatsoever for weakness – JLS proved that.

Tom: Yes, it’s for a worthy cause, and yes, musically there’s nothing really wrong with it – but it just makes my skin crawl. That’s a reason.