❚ BRITISH POP’S NEXT JUSTIN TIMBALIKE, according to PopJustice, is Tyler James, the slick-suited Mr Fit who amazingly did NOT win The Voice TV talent show last year, despite a brilliant soulful voice and emotive falsetto. This week he swaggers through the video [below] for his new single Worry About You, featuring British rapper Kano to underline hard-man East London cred. It’s the second heartfelt tune to be released from his recent album A Place I Go, some songs on which reflect his turbulent past as a best buddy of the tragic Amy Winehouse who died last summer.
In the softly porny video for his last release Single Tear we see Tyler as a ho-master. In the new video for Worry About You he moves up to scarfaced power player in gangland. What is it with casting white boys as gangstas? It doesn’t wash. Nor does it square with the songwriter’s yearning in lyrics such as “I haven’t cried a single tear whole year” and “Worry about you baby, I worry about you”. This dude cares about people.
OK, his album is a ballad-led tearjerker but among 14 tracks it contains only two upbeat numbers: we hear none of the mischief we can see in those bright blue eyes. The reviews have been mixed and a consensus feels his handlers have yet to grasp how to project Tyler’s simmering matinee-idol charisma. What is it with today’s pop-biz shapers that they no longer know how to assess a talent and play to his strengths?