AS the leader of Busted, Charlie Simpson peered out from the pages of Smash Hits and many a teenage girl’s bedroom wall.
Then, as the main man in Fightstar, you were more likely to find him in heavy rock bible Kerrang! than the pop charts, with the group gathering the critical acclaim every boyband member secretly yearns for.
He’s now onto his second album as a solo artist, and it’s easy to see why he passed up on the chance to join his former bandmates on the lucrative boyband tour circuit; these days he’s more Mumford and Sons than McBusted.
Long Road Home is an eminently playable mainstream folk-pop record and if fans of The Lumineers, Mumford and so on can forgive Simpson his past, it would sit comfortably in their record collections.
The songs are hummable and easy to sing along with but what it lacks is that little bit of fairy dust which marks out the great from the good.
Like this? Try these: The Byrds, Mr Tambourine Man; The Lumineers
By Andrew Greenhalgh