James Arthur (Deluxe)
The Teessider brushes off The X Factor U.K.’s tickertape to emerge as a modern-soul contender. A television producer’s dream, Arthur’s journey from homelessness to prime-time triumph also means he has more grit and depth than most talent show champions. Enough, even, to pull off hard-knocks hip-hop on “Flyin’”. Emotive not over-earnest, he’s most convincing as a soulman though–whether on his knees pleading (“Impossible”), or putting a defiant foot forward on muscular opener “You’re Nobody ’Til Somebody Loves You”.