Album Reviews

Leona Lewis – Glassheart

(Syco) UK release date: 15 October 2012

After a year of delays, Leona Lewis‘ third album Glassheart is finally being released. The follow up to 2009’s Echo is a slightly different direction for Lewis, with the focus being on a dancier sound, but it’s difficult to imagine actually dancing to any of the tracks.

Opening track Trouble is pretty cool. The version without Childish Gambino even has a bridge section that yanks the melody from Sarah McLaughlin’s dance track Silence. The only real down side to it is the believability of Lewis actually being “a whole lot of trouble” as she insists in the chorus. Otherwise it’s a decent track, but not mind blowing.

Un Love Me is mediocre. Lewis has a terribly irritating habit of not pronouncing her words properly, turning the hook of the song from “Un love me” into “all of me”. That’s really the only remarkable thing about it. This is immediately followed by the first four bars of Bleeding Love. Actually the song is called Lovebird, and besides this issue with the intro it’s OK. Tragic love song, crappy lyrics, nice tune.

Come Alive is going to be massive in gay clubs. It’s a similar sound to much of the electro dance pop going around at the moment, but with a dark twist that gives it a tasty little edge. Fireflies is forgettable; nothing really bad, but at the same time, nothing that makes it stand out as anything. Lewis’ voice towards the end of the track however is really great.

I To You is a dark little fairytale, with lots of interesting moments, but lacks a real punch to it. Still, any good work done up to this point is hereby erased the moment Lewis begins Shake You Up. She begins the track by simply saying “Can you turn the music up a little bit please”. And it’s horrible. She must never speak in that creepy little girl voice again. Ever. Oh, and the track itself is a crappy ’80s sound-a-like.

Putting the horror of Shake You Up behind us, we have Stop the Clocks which is super bland. It’s just very lazy songwriting. Nothing happens, and it’s not about anything, and no amount of Lewis’ heartfelt whimpering and wailing is going to change that. Favourite Scar is definitely one of the album’s highlights, with a super catchy playground chant of a chorus. It suffers from some ugly autotuning, but at least she doesn’t talk at the beginning.

When It Hurts is an Emeli Sandé tribute act. But it’s alright. Nothing fresh or exciting, and nothing particular bad about it. Title track Glassheart is most certainly inspired by both Nicki Minaj and Britney, and it’s likely to be a big gay hit, but doesn’t have much going for it other than sounding like the two previously mentioned artists.

Finally we reach the end, with ballad Fingerprints. The chorus is really lovely, and the whole track has a great build up throughout it.

As a whole, Glassheart is listenable, with a few ups and downs in terms of the quality of the tracks, but does tend to keep to a very steady keel of mediocrity without much deviation.

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