LIKE many X Factor graduates, it’s on her second album Freedom that series seven runner-up Rebecca Ferguson shows a bit more bite.

While Freedom will still appeal to pop fans, it’s a smokier and more interesting offering to her 2011 debut Heaven, with the 27-year-old shaking any unwanted associations the series brings.

Album opener I Hope is a stomping slap in the face to a lover, while My Best is an upbeat soulful number and is a pleasant change up from the slower songs. John Legend lends his smooth vocals to Bridges, a piano-led ballad that's among the high points on the album, while Hanging On is a strutting belt-along song that shows off Ferguson’s impressive vocals.

Freedom is a million miles away from the usual albums served up by X Factor contestants, and all the better for it as it lets Ferguson break the X Factor mould and carve a true name for herself.