Richard Breen, more commonly known as Abs, rose to fame as a member of UK boyband Five. After the group split up, Abs went on to release his own solo album, Abstract Theory, in 2003. Though the three singles did all right (#4, #10, and #5), the album itself entered the charts at #29, and, according to Wikipedia, disputes with his record company prevented the fourth single from ever being released. He (along with the rest of the former members except Sean) has now reformed Five. Abstract Theory doesn't quite sound like typical boyband stuff--Abs tries to bring some funkiness to songs, and his raps (as well as voice) aren't exactly what you would expect from a former boyband member. The album is far from consistent, but it does have some good songs on it.
Stop Sign--an old-school sounding fast song that's pretty fun. It was Abs's second single, but I'm starting with it because it'll kick of the proceedings with a burst of energy. It's also the only one of Abs's singles to not have a lot of female backing (or lead) vocals.
What U Got--Abs's debut single. It's mid-tempo and this sort of rocking (like back and forth, not rock and roll) feel to it. He also namechecks GQ in it.
Miss Perfect (feat. Nodesha)--a lot of people questioned Abs's ability (in both talent and charisma) to lead a whole album; he seems to have anticipated that, though, because his voice is often accompanied by significant female backing vocas or, as in the case of "Miss Perfect," is essentially a duet (or, depending on your point of view, a song by the female singer featuring Abs). This is a smoother, slicker song than either of the previous two.
7 Ways (feat. Eve)--this was to be Abs's fourth single, but it was never released. Female singer here? Yup--she even has the chorus all to herself, which she delivers in a sweet, understated way, a pleasant contrast to the feeling of ominousness or worry that underlies the song. Though the song is labeled "feat. Angel," I think the singer's real name is Eve.
Spin--Abs's version of Dead Or Alive's "You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)." It was a bonus track on the Japanese edition of his album and a B-side on the DVD single of "Miss Perfect." It's not a straight cover of the original (which it has absolutely nothing on), but more takes it as the launching point for a new song. Typical fast-speaking Abs on the verses, with a more beat-oriented transition to the familiar (though toned-down) chorus.
To buy Abstract Theory, go here (physical); to buy the single for "Miss Perfect," go here (physical).
Next up: possibly Jesse McCartney or Gregory Lemarchal, but if I'm being realistic, there's a very good chance it'll be something about Anthony Callea, because we're expecting "exciting news" on Thursday...