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Four Minute Warning by Mark Owen

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Reviewed on 1st August 2003.


Four Minute Warning

By Mark Owen

Awww, it's the cute one from Take That! For younger readers a little history. Robbie Williams was once in a boy band called Take That. They wrote some fine pop songs (although no male would admit it at the time) and were huge. When they split shortly after Robbie left and, well, imagine how you'd feel if Charlie left Busted then you might be close to the trauma that swept the teenage nation. Robbie got rich whilst Gary (the musically talented one) let himself and everyone down by becoming shit overnight without his pals. The other three disappeared into obscurity. Then cute little Mark released an album that contained a couple of decent pop tunes but ultimately was pretty poor. Well a few years on he's back to roll the dice again in an attempt to boost those decreasing bank balances now the royalties are slowing up.

Unfortunately for Mark he can't really sing. I know that hasn't stopped Robbie but at least lard boy has charisma. Mr Owen has always been a bit of a drip and this tune does nothing to endear him any further. The fact that he stwuggles (sorry!) to pronounce certain letters doesn't help. It's not a bad tune really but it's not that great that it covers up for poor little Mark's vocal ineptitude. My advice, go home and get on the blower to your old pals and try sort out a re-union tour! Cha-ching!!!



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On 24th September 2003 at 18:54 Anonymous 1112 wrote...

Don't agree. This is an excellent come-back single for Mark and his voice is improved alot. Have enjoyed seeing him live over the summer and will be coming to see him at Leeds Met on 29 September. I've already heard some of his new songs (have you?) and look forward to his album (November I think).

Mark CAN sing and CAN perform live, unlike alot of current popsters who just mime.

I could make a huge list of them who can't (and shouldn't) sing, but Mark won't be on it.

Well done Mark, and welcome back.


On 25th September 2003 at 09:38 Anonymous 30 wrote...

Ahh great comment Georgie...it takes me back to the good ole days of Take That..."They can sing, they can! they can! mummy tell him!"...how wrong we were back then - exhibit A: Robbie Williams...oh hang on case for the defence - exhibit B: Gary Barlow. The juries out, but you have to admit the vocals on this record are a bit suspect for someone who has been in the business nearly 10 years?


On 25th September 2003 at 11:28 Anonymous 1112 wrote...

Think you're being a patronising really instantrick!! I wasn't a teenage TT fan. I am a bit older and like a good song - not I like whatever Mark does because he was in TT.

I'm not a fan of Robbie either but can't ignore his success obviously. Gary Barlow is behind the scenes writing songs for current pop acts even if he's not performing them so you could be happily listening to a song not knowing he wrote it. I like that!! People can be very snobby about what's "cool". If I like the song I like it.

I like Four Minute Warning - suspect vocals? No. I like his voice. The Darkness are No. 1 and I hate their singing!!

I know Mark has to prove himself again with his songs and I think he does. His songs are thoughtful and catchy. Please tell me who's vocals are so perfect above all others. I'll be happy to read your opinion.

And thanks for replying to mine.


On 26th September 2003 at 11:13 Anonymous 30 wrote...

Not patronising at all - sorry if it came accross like that (paranoid bee in your bonnet me thinks) I was just remembering the good old days of arguing about TT. Incidently they were on TOTP2 last night doing Relight My fire...the one where Lulu looks like your embaressing aunty who fancies your mates, it was all very suspect and reminded me how much Mark has changed for the better. He is a nice guy but I (personally) think his voice is poor. I doubt we could find vocalists that we both agree on in the limited space we have here!


On 27th September 2003 at 13:44 Anonymous 1112 wrote...

No I'm not paranoid either.

And no I guess you'd be hard pushed to find someone who has a perfect voice.

If you don't like Mark's singing then you're entitled to say so. I think perhaps you mean he hasn't a "strong" voice, which I would agree with, but that isn't always necessary.

And not pronouncing his "r's" isn't a problem for me. It's quite endearing. Jonathon Woss does it as well, it's quite charming (for women!).

Rap artists can't say the word "ask" they say "axe". Which brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "I ask you".


On 27th September 2003 at 14:18 Anonymous 251 wrote...

He he cool. Well Georgie if you want the review copy of 4 minute warning you may have it as I don't think I'll be spinning it again. Clementine was ace but t'old lad's just lost it I think.
And I would say a strong voice is necessary ! Maybe not for success (i.e Robbie Williams, Gareth Gates etc) but really I want to hear singers who are gonna be able to cut it live. If you listen to someone like Darius Rucker, Ryan Adams, Steven Tyler hell even Will Young! you know that they really do have a talent. Anyone can walk into a studio and come out with a record that sounds ok. We need record labels to be a bit tougher and get rid of the shite. Get some real talent back in the charts. People who have soul and emotion in their voices.

There are plenty of people with near perfect voices but you often don't hear about them cos kids get Gareth Hotchips and Fast Food Rockers thrown at them.


On 28th September 2003 at 19:23 Anonymous 1112 wrote...

Well it's a good job we have different tastes - I think blokes just hate everyone who was ever in a boyband just cos of that. I don't want your copy of 4MW as I already bought it. Mark can sing live and puts on a good show so I guess we'll have to differ. Everyone has their own taste in music and I think I'm a female here arguing against blokes who want to appear "cool" with their music tastes. I also listen to Coldplay, Travis, Eva Cassidy, White Stripes and The Hives. Daresay I'm in a minority with those too.


On 29th September 2003 at 01:10 Anonymous 251 wrote...

Excuse me! You think I am slagging him off cos he was in a boy band? No. I own Take That's greatest hits, there are some top tunes on there. My recent purchases include Girls Aloud, Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake and Black Eyed Peas which sit in my record collection alongside Coldplay, Travis, Eva Cassidy and The Hives. I like ALL good music from Burt Bacharch to Metallica from Girls Aloud to Foo Fighters.
I own Mark Owen's first album too. I just happen to think that 4 Minute Warning is pants. My opinion is musical. I'm the most uncool cat around with my musical tastes in everyone elses opinion but I like what I like. So don't make random accusations that have no foundation just because you don;t agree with my opinion of one song. You seemed quite reasonable up until that petulant remark too! I'm a male here arguing against women with a chip on their shoulder against blokes it would seem ! I don't wanna be anyone's opinion of cool. I just wanna hear good music and in my opinion Marky boy just don't cut it on this latest offering. God that pissed me off. That's the most insulting inaccurate thing I have ever heard.


On 29th September 2003 at 10:14 Anonymous 1112 wrote...

Oh dear. It's ok for me to be called "paranoid" (not by you granted) and spoken to like I was 5 years old (not by you again) and have people slag off a record I like but I'm not allowed to reply! Hmm. I am reasonable and as soon as you don't agree with my comments you go off on one. I was totally misjudged when I made my first reply, seems I have misjudged you (easily done on a messageboard). If I've pissed you off I apologise. I'm big enough to do that. I'm on my way to Leeds Met now to watch Mark in concert tonight. I'll be smiling to myself as I listen to 4MW. Not quite sure where the "chip on their shoulder about blokes" came from either. It's only a cd review - get over it. I like the song, you don't. End of.


On 29th September 2003 at 11:11 Anonymous 13 wrote...

Funny old world eh? Strong feelings, deep commitment, the misery of being unfairly misunderstood, the need to have the last word ... Meet in a pub or club and all would be well. Meet on-line and all the crap gets distorted and amplified ... and no one's paying any attention to what anyone else might be saying or feeling ... just like a Nirvana tune, really. Don't be cross, we're all the same underneath.


On 29th September 2003 at 19:20 Anonymous 251 wrote...

That as why I was pissed off. I don't like the single but I appreciate that others do. WIth my musical tastes it's hard to find people that like most of my favourite artists. However, I took great offence at a suggestion that I didn't like the song because Mark Own used to be in a boyband. That is ridiculous. My initial response, I thought, was fair and just stated my opinion that I didn't enjoy the single. I didn't "go off on one" because I disagree with you about the single but rather to defend myself against an accusation that I don't write based on what I hear. I hope you enjoy the gig Georgie!


On 30th September 2003 at 15:57 Anonymous 1112 wrote...

I did enjoy the gig Mike it was a great show he put on - he has a good band too. He went down a storm at The Met even doing covers of Cant' Get You Outta My Head, Crazy in Love, and Friday I'm in love. So I get annoyed when people say he can't sing live cos he sure can. Hope you accepted my apology.


On 30th September 2003 at 18:58 Anonymous 251 wrote...

Yes Georgie tis all fine. I'm glad you had a good time. Despite slating from friends I still think Clementine is a great pop song and Mark certainly had a great band for that album with Blondie's Clem Burke on drums no less! I just really wasn't taken with 4MW whatsoever. If it makes you happy then that is good, stick to your guns. I only ever got annoyed because of the suggestion about disliking him because of the boy band tag. All is forgotten. Come see Charly Six some time and I'll buy you a pint whether you love us or hate us !


On 30th September 2003 at 19:48 Anonymous 1112 wrote...

Would be happy too! Mark has a different band now (Clem Burke only actually played on the recordings, not in the live band but he was a fantastic drummer yes) and he sang Clementine last night, which he said he got the best reception he'd ever had for it. Good Luck with Charly Six. And hope you like Mark's next single better than 4MW (but won't hold you to it if it ain't your thing).
Might hold you to that pint though..........


On 30th September 2003 at 22:22 Anonymous 251 wrote...

Well we'replaying tomorrow, Wed, at New Roscoe, 25th Oct at Royal Park and 30th Oct at Leeds Met if you wanna claim your pint. Awwww, we're all friends now. Ain't life grand !


On 2nd October 2003 at 11:14 Anonymous 30 wrote...

All that Mike just to get one extra person to your gig! Impressive! Make sure you give Mr Lott a kick from me and have a good one


On 6th June 2004 at 11:52 Anonymous 2671 wrote...

Mr DeForge, having looked through your previous reviews I can see you had to review some real crap, 50 cent, mark owen, girls aloud... you poor person


On 6th June 2004 at 11:53 Dave LMS wrote...

Oh, he didn't have to. That's just what he bought...


On 6th June 2004 at 11:58 Anonymous 2671 wrote...

i'm speachless



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