Quitting a chart-topping boyband to pursue more credible pastures is risky business – even Robbie went back to Take That for good. But six years out of Busted and Charlie Simpson has got all that teeny-bopping out of his system with three albums fronting post-hardcore quartet Fightstar.
Simpson’s first solo-record-proper sees the 26-year-old acting his age with a pleasant dose of acoustic-pop. Eschewing his small town Suffolk roots for an affected, Americanised bellow, moments of petty angst are balanced with a playful country bounce, while ex-Coldplay producer Danton Supple offers emotive, indie-flick arrangements and aching arpeggios.
It’s all a bit obvious, but so blindingly earnest that it could bridge the gap between Busted’s pop fan base and Fightstar’s fickle followers.