JAHMENE DOUGLAS is just 22, yet he has already lost a brother and been physically abused by a father who is now in prison following the horrendous crimes he put his family through.
He’s a remarkable young man, still managing not only to retain his Christian faith when losing the plot and railing at the almighty would surely have been a more natural reaction.
It is impossible not to like him and, given what he has coped with so far, one can only hope that the bad reviews he has already received for his debut album are like water off a duck’s back. For all these reasons and more, I was desperate to like this album. X Factor finalists are routinely slated by the music press for no other reason than being X Factor finalists, which seems a little harsh.
The problem with Love Never Fails is that it is simply not very good. Sounding like it has been put together by X Factor producers, there are big endings and loud orchestral bangs and vocal swoops and Mariah Carey-style look-at-the-number-of-notes-I-can-hit flourishes, and it’s almost uniformly horrible.
Jahmene’s ultimate aim is to make a gospel record rather than a covers album, and judging by the one track I am ever likely to play again – a lovely, heartfelt cover of gospel staple His Eye is on the Sparrow, featuring just Jahmene’s voice and a piano – he should be granted his wish.