It's been a long, frustrating time coming for Matt Cardle, but he finally released his debut full-length this week.
From having to wait for runners-up One Direction to release their album first, plus his admission that he felt 'compromised' during his time on The X Factor, Cardle is hoping to get rid of the "reality show winner" tag as soon as possible.
Letters, his full length, will go some way to help him establish himself as a serious musician and song-writer, although the influence of Simon Cowell's Syco Music is evident on the song-writing credits.
Cardle had sitten dozens of songs before appearing on The X Factor, and it's nice to see that he at least co-wrote almost every song on the record.
That said, only singles 'Run For Your Life' and 'When We Collide' weren't co-written - and they were written by Gary Barlow and Biffy Clyro respectively.
The contributing song-writers do give the album a slightly predictable feel, although songs like 'All Or Nothing' do show a slight roughness to Cardle's sound, which will do his image wonders as he moves away from the stereotype of an X Factor winner.
What can't be denied, though, is Matt Cardle's talent as a vocalist and song-writer, and he does carry the album well.
Songs like 'Amazing' are hardly ground-breaking, and do feel cliched, but make up part of a solid album that will give Cardle the opportunity to actually make a career for himself.
Whilst Letters falls into a trap of feeling slightly repetetive at times, it still holds up well and is more consistent a record than most X Factor contestents have produced in the past.
When Cardle allows himself to show more of his personality (like on the relatively rock-influenced title track), his really shines and the album benefits from these flashes of brilliance.
Letters, in all honesty, isn't a particularly adventurous record, but it serves as a signal of intent from Matt Cardle to make a name for himself on his own tracks.
Tracks like 'Walking On Water' highlight a strong debut that gives us hope for Cardle's post-X Factor career, one that he is certainly deserving of.
Female First - Alistair McGeorge