This is being touted as Alesha's second album in some reviews - but it's not, it's her third. Before The Alesha Show there was Fired Up, which ended up being released in Japan and not in the UK. The latter has the unique honour of being the priciest album I've ever bought on import, and was well worth every penny. But that was back in the Mis-Teeq days - Alesha's all grown up now and has her own very distinctive sound.
There's one general high point, which is that this album carries on the character of Alesha Dixon perfectly. In particular, the music is original but in a way similar to that of The Alesha Show - the beats are fast and the party starts from the get-go with Baddest Chick.
Alesha could have a problem finding a ballad to release as a single - there's nothing with the obvious anthemic qualities of Breathe Slow, for example - but instead what there is here is an effective mix of pace and emotion. Radio is probably the closest we're gonna get to another Breathe Slow from The Entertainer, and it's a worthy contender to sit in that throne.
It wouldn't be right to ignore the title track here - The Entertainer is distinctive and catchy, and makes good use of a backing sample reminiscent of those laughing clowns you get at fairgrounds. It's a concrete example of Alesha Dixon getting into character in that way she does so well in her music without becoming false-seeming in the rest of her life.
Don't take my word for it, though - if you can't wait another week for the album, you can whet your appetite with the album sampler below:
I won't pretend to be totally objective here - I do like Alesha Dixon. I like her voice, her personality and her music separately, which is a lethal combination when you put the three together. Most of all I like her originality - every song is like a good Cheryl Cole track, only Alesha was doing this music first.
The Entertainer continues in a well-forged vein and doesn't disappoint me, so hopefully will please other Alesha fans too. Criticism, if there is any to be placed, could only be that there's not quite as much progression from The Alesha Show as some people might like, and not really a slow track for Alesha to exercise her vocal skills on properly. Having said that, Cool With Me and Radio both have a few decently held notes to take care of that, so it's not so bad.
Final Score: 78%