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This is the first album from Alexandra Burke, who was the winner from the fifth series of X factor. This album, titled 'Overcome' was released 19th October 2009 and entered the charts straight in at number one.
To date this album has produced three number one singles, Hallelujah, Bad Boys & All Night Long. Overcome is a mix of Pop, R&B, Electro pop & Dance-Pop.
Length: 48:43 minutes.
This album consists of the following songs:
1) Bad Boys featuring Flo Rida. This song is 3.26 minutes long. This is an up tempo song with an R&B and Pop sound. It includes some rap from Flo Rida and the tune is catchy. I rate this song 8 out of 10.
2) Good Night featuring Ne-Yo. This song is 3.37 minutes long. This track has a Dance-Pop sound and is a brilliant number to have a dance to. This song is fast with a great beat, with few words, making it easy to sing along with straight away. I rate this song 8 out of 10.
3) The Silence. This song is 4.01 minutes long. This is the first ballad on the album and shows Alexandra's true vocal talent. I rate this song 7 out of 10.
4) All Night Long. This song is 4.23 minutes long. Back to a dance feel with this track and another great number to dance along too. I rate this song 9 out of 10.
5) Bury Me (6 Feet Under). This song is 3.33 minutes long. Up-tempo and fun track, you'll be tapping your foot to this number. I rate this song 9 out of 10.
6) Broken Heels. This song is 4.09 minutes long. This song is fast and fun with a great message for all the ladies. I rate this song 10 out of 10.
7) Dumb. This song is 3.53 minutes long. This is another great track to dance along too. Strong beat and amusing lyrics will draw you in. I rate this song 10 out of 10.
8) Overcome. This song is 3.53 minutes long. This Ballad is easy to listen to and relaxing. I rate this 5 out of 10.
9) Gotta Go. This song is 4.00 minutes long. This song has a slow gentle start picking up speed and power in the chorus. I rate this 4 out of 10.
10) You Broke My Heart. This song is 3.37 minutes long. An up-tempo number with a catchy drum beat. I rate this 6 out of 10.
11) Nothing But the Girl. This song is 3.37 minutes long. This track is a dance number and will have you up on your feet. I rate this 5 out of 10.
12) They Don't Know. This song is 3.13 minutes long. This song is stripped back to basics. Its a piano and Alexandra's voice and its simplicity works perfectly. This is a beautiful song. I rate this 9 out of 10.
13) Hallelujah. This song is 3.37 minutes long. This track is a cover version of the Ballard by Leonard Cohen. This shows the high and low range in Alexandra's voice and is mesmerizing to listen to. I rate this song 10 out of 10.
Summary: With 8 out of 13 tracks excellent songs, I believe this CD is definitely worth buying.
I bought this album a few months back when it was being discounted on Amazon for £5 for a MP3 album. When she was a contestant on the X Factor a couple of years back, I must admit that she wasn't one of my favourites and I honestly couldn't see myself ever buying her music based on her performances on the show. Fast forward to April of this year, and some of the album tracks have had a fair few plays on my iPod now so it's fair to say that she's won me over now ... to a certain extent at least.
This is her debut album, and my version features the X Factor winner's single Hallelujah (as a bonus track), the big-selling Bad Boys that launched her 'comeback' after recording this album and the subsequent singles Broken Heels and All Night Long (the current single). When I discuss single releases in this review, I'm not counting Hallelujah as the first single seeing as it would have been released by whoever won so I'm counting Bad Boys as the first single.
This was the lead single from the album and was a big hit in the UK, reaching #1 and selling over 750,000 copies. It got a lot of airplay on UK radio but if you're not familiar with the track, I'd describe it as slightly retro but not in an old-fashioned sense. Despite having a bit of an 80s vibe, it's very catchy in the chorus. For me, it was the obvious track to lead with as I don't think that any of the other tracks have quite the same appeal to try to kick start an album with. There are two versions floating around, one with rapper Flo Rida and one without. My album version is the former and as I'm not keen on rappers generally, I would have preferred the latter.
GOOD NIGHT GOOD MORNING
The next track on the album is a bit more chilled and down-tempo, and features US singer Ne-Yo. From first listen, this track failed to grab me and it's one that I find myself skipping past.
Although the powers-that-be have done their best to market Alexandra as uber-cool in the UK Beyonce mould, she was known on The X Factor for singing a good few ballads so it would have been surprising not to see any on the album. The first big ballad on the album comes here with a heartfelt ballad that combines vocals and emotions impressively. This is one of my favourites on the album and one of the tracks that inspired me to download the full album.
ALL NIGHT LONG
This was the third single release from the album. At first, it passed me by and I frequently skipped it but something clicked into place when it was released and started to get frequent airplay on my local radio station. It took quite a few listens but I now like the track. The album version that I have doesn't feature rapper Pitbull, which is a welcome relief for me as I don't like the single version due to his inclusion. It's another up-tempo, dancey number that I can see getting played in the clubs and it cements Alexandra's status as a pop star (as opposed to being more of a vocalist like Leona Lewis).
BURY ME (6 FEET UNDER)
I'm not keen on this track. It's got a retro vibe but not one that I particularly like. It swings towards Motown and sounds rather dated, especially in comparison to some of the other tracks. I'm not really sure why it was included as it doesn't really fit in with how they're trying to market her.
This was the second single release from the album and it's another up-tempo offering. I liked this track to begin with and thought it was really fun and catchy but it got old rather quickly and I find it quite annoying now.
I like this track but it's more filler than single material. It's a mid-tempo offering that sounds a bit dated at times but the chorus can lodge itself in your brain despite being very simplistic.
This is the second of the big ballads on the album and lyrically, it wouldn't sound too out of place as an X Factor winners song (with a few tweaks here and there). Despite that, it's another track that I like and it's not in quite the same style as The Silence so there is a bit of variation between the two.
I'd class this as a ballad but it's quite a weak one in comparison to the other ballad offerings on the album. It's never grabbed me, even after repeated listens so it's another one that I don't play much.
YOU BROKE MY HEART
This is another of those tracks that seems out of place on the album. It was contributed by Pixie Lott and this is quite apparent when listening to the track. By that I mean that it doesn't suit Alexandra's style and makes it appear as though they ran out of decent tracks and had to go with something to fill out the tracklisting. In the hands of someone like Pixie, I'm sure that it would sound much better but for Alexandra, I don't like it.
NOTHING BUT THE GIRL
This is another attempt at going in a dancey direction but for me, it doesn't have the same appeal as Bad Boys, All Night Long or even Broken Heels in that respect. It comes across as another filler track, albeit one that is better and more fitting than some of the other tracks on the album (I'm looking at Bury Me, Gotta Go and You Broke My Heart here).
THEY DON'T KNOW
The penultimate track is another ballad but not as powerful as most of the other ballads. As usual, the vocals are excellent. Here, the emphasis seems to be placed on getting the emotion across rather than belting and vocal runs, which fits the lyrics.
This was Alexandra's winner's single after winning The X Factor. It is a well-sung cover of the Leonard Cohen classic but for me, the track loses emotion when it's belted out as large parts of this version are and it just comes across as generic. I still prefer it to any other of the winner's singles though as it is less cliched, probably due to the song choice. It's tucked away at the very end of the tracklisting, almost as an afterthought.
Back in late 2008, the names 'Jedward' and Joe McElderry had never been heard of as the name on everybody's lips was Alexandra Burke. Burke was never a front runner of The X Factor to start with, however that all changed when her rendition of Beyonce's little known hit 'Listen' catapulted the already 2 year old song back into the top 10. After winning the much anticipated competition over inferior boy band JLS (if you don't believe me listen to their album) and had the Christmas number one with her cover of Hallelujah.
Overcome came as her debut album in October 2009, a good 10 months after winning a 1 million pound record deal with Simon Cowell's label. The album went straight to number one in the charts after the first single Bad Boys rocketed to number one only to be knocked off after a week by her X Factor 'mentor' Cheryl Cole. After much hype about Miss Burke becoming the next Beyonce and following in the footsteps of fellow X Factor winner Leona Lewis, is Overcome all it's cracked up to be or is Burke destined to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Steve Brookstein and Shayne Ward?
Bad Boys (ft Flo Rida)
Good Night Good Morning (ft Neyo)
All Night Long
Bury Me (6 Feet Under)
You Broke My Heart
Nothing But The Girl
They Don't Know
The album kicks off strongly with the number one single Bad Boys which features rap superstar Flo Rida. The song sets Burke firmly into the genre which she sticks to throughout the album, the majority of the album is made up of up-tempo R&B numbers that suit Burke's voice down to the ground. Bad Boys has a stomping beat and having Flo Rida guest on the song has done her no harm at all. This is a radio friendly instantly catchy tune that could be seen a little on the cheesy side but it's impossible to doubt this songs credentials.
Next track, Good Night Good Morning isn't one of the most instantly catchy tunes on the album but it's one that has definitely grown on me during the months after downloading the album. The song doesn't just feature Neyo, it's produced by the American heartthrob too. Considering Neyo has produced for the likes of Rihanna and Beyonce, Burke is definitely in A-List company here. Is she the next Beyonce or Rihanna? My guess would be no but with the right production and song writers behind her Burke could be capable of carving herself out a successful career in the somewhat deserted British R&B market.
Swedish songwriter/producer RedOne makes his presence felt throughout the album, after working with the likes of Christina Millian, Sean Kingston and most notably Lady Gaga, Burke is yet again placed in safe hands, hands that have produced 3 songs on the album. First up on RedOne's account is The Silence, the first of only two ballads on the album. Usually with this type of R&B laden album I would skip passed the ballads as they always seem to pale in comparison to the chart stompers like Bad Boys and Broken heels, however The Silence is a real heartfelt ballad that definitely serves its purpose on this album, this is the first song on the album that gives Burke the chance to showcase her vocal ability. Second of the RedOne collaborations comes in the form of Broken Heels which was the second single release, the single peaked at number 8 in the UK Singles Chart and is a personal highlight of the album. Despite the insanely catchy nature of Bad Boys, it's quickly forgotten about and is one that I doubt I'll want to listen to in the near future, Broken Heels however is one of those songs that gets into your head and is impossible to remove, even months after the first listen. Broken Heels is a song which blends together perfectly the styles of pop and R&B to create a really polished song which is hard to fault. Dumb is the last of the RedOne collaborations, it doesn't quite have the substance of Broken Heels or The Silence but what it lacks in substance it makes up for with its stomping chorus, similar to the likes of Love Game by Lady Gaga and has essences of Rihanna's monster hit Umbrella. Don't get me wrong, this isn't another Umbrella, far from it infact, but it is a very catchy tune that will stick around in your mind long after you've listened to it. The way the song changes pace is very clever and RedOne's production shines throughout the song.
Unfortunately the album isn't a 5 star attempt, at one point the album goes all motown on us with Bury Me, this would be more suited to a Duffy album, not liking Duffy in the slightest this song doesn't resonate anything with me and for me is one of the weaker songs on the album. They Don't Know and It's Over are two more letdowns on this album. They're both slower in tempo however not ballads, this is where the album falters slightly, these just don't work with Burke's voice. When slowed down I find Burke's voice terribly dull, she excels at the up-tempo songs and can undoubtedly sing a ballad but anything in between seems to be asking too much of the young diva.
Gotta Go is slightly quicker in tempo to They Don't Know and It's over and it's also slightly better. Throughout the verses you can hear it building until it reaches the chorus which is when it breaks out a catchy chorus laden with heavy beats. All Night Long follows the same rules as Gotta Go. These two are nice fillers to pack out the album but they're instantly forgettable.
You Broke My Heart is another song that echoes with 60's charm and beats, however unlike Bury Me, this is actually one that I like. I wouldn't say that it particularly fits in with the overall tone of the album but it's nonetheless a catchy tune. Nothing But The Girl is one of my personal favourites on the album with a strong beat, catchy chorus, growing verses and is another fine example of how Burke's vocals perfectly match the tone and pace of the faster songs.
The definitive highlight on the album is undeniably the albums title track Overcome. It crosses over into power ballad territory which usually I would avoid like the plague but this is a superb and uplifting track that captivates you within the first few piano laden seconds. The track, although it stands out from the rest because of the difference in pace and genre, it still manages to blend in perfectly with the rest of the album.
Overall I would say that this is a very good attempt at a debut album, despite the filler tracks and the tracks which are scarily out of place (hallelujah being the most blatant). In future releases Burke should definitely stick to what she's good at, which is up-tempo R&B songs and she should be fine.
The album is available for download from iTunes for £6.99.
X Factor darling Alexandra Burke released her debut offering "Overcome" in late 2009. Preceded by the coronation single "Hallelujah" and first true single "Bad Boys" it sold moderately well. So far, the album has scanned over 500,000 copies in the United Kingdom--a decent, if unremarkable, tally.
The quality of the set reflects the volume of its sales. Many of the tracks are rehashes of previous hits--some from many years before the album was released. See "Bury Me (Six Feet Under)" and "You Broke My Heart," both of which attempt to capitalize on the now redundant sixties soul craze of 2008.
Whereas both "Broken Heels" and "Dumb" are tracks of Lady Gaga-lite quality. Which is little suprise, considering they were produced by RedOne--the producer Lady GaGa brought to prominence with her debut single "Just Dance." Unfortunately for Miss Burke, nothing on this tepid set is even close to matching the greatness of that track.
Firstly, i have to say that i didnt think Alexandra Burke should have won the x-factor in 2008, i felt there were better artists in the competition. Having said that, this album is one of the most incredible debut albums i have ever listened to. This is even more surprising for me because i wouldn't normally listen to this kind of music and only watch x-factor as my girlfriend leaves me very little choice. Her winners single, a cover of Jeff Buckley's 'Hallelujah' was not as good as the original but still took the Christmas number one. On the album, there is a good variety of tunes, some catchy, some big beats, some slower songs. I can honestly say there is not one song on the album i would say i dont like, some are better than others but all are good. Already working with established artists such as Flo Rida, Alexandra Burke's career is sure to be long and fruitful if she can continue to produce material as good as the tracks on 'Overcome'. My advice, dont knock it until you try it, you may be as surprised as i am!
Released in October 2009 some 10 months after winning The X factor "Overcome" is the debut album from Alexandra Burke. Her winners single "Hallelujah" topped the Christmas 2008 chart and is the closing song on what has become one of the most played albums in our home since it was bought as a Christmas stocking filler for me from my wife.
There was no doubt that this girl could sing as demonstrated during her time on the show, not an out and out forerunner from the start but her versatility and personality began to shine through during the latter end of the competition. A well deserved winner of the show and rather than take the Leona Lewis route of releasing slow, thoughtful ballads Burke delivers some anthemic belters on this album that sit nicely between some slower power ballads.
"Bad Boys" opens the album and features Flo Rida on the track, a radio-friendly stomper that demonstrates Burkes impressive vocals with plenty of "oh ahs" and a sweeping, infectious chorus that firmly imbeds itself into your head and gets you moving. Her second number one single and a solid opening song that sets the pace and feel for the album as a whole. A great song and one of my favourites here. 5/5
"Good Night, Good Morning" follows and is an R&B track that features clear vocals and a catchy chorus, not the strongest song on the album and erring towards 'filler' material. Still good though and one that I do listen to. 4/5
"The Silence" sees a change of pace and is a slower, rousing song that again benefits from an outstanding vocal from Burke. If any song was going to be compared to a Leona one it would be this as it is firmly in the ballad territory, rumoured to be the fourth single and should be a well deserved huge hit. A cracking song and another favourite of mine here 5/5
"All Night Long" and is next and a definite club song that has a killer hook which again is infectious and catchy. Repeating lyrics and stomping bass line, this song needs to be played at full volume again is another favourite of mine that I adore. 5/5
"Bury Me (6 Feet Under)" sees a change of style on the album from stomping pop R&B to a more "Duffylike" song. It has an odd charm to it which reminds me of old style swing songs, its inclusion between two upbeat tracks doesn't really fit well and is a song that I can take or leave. I do tend to skip this one if I'm being honest as it doesn't really go anywhere and tends to go on for a bit too long. The weakest song up to now and only a 3/5 from me.
"Broken Heels" follows and was the third single release from the album, instantly recognisable and similar in style to Bad Boys. It features a complicated chorus and another killer hook with plenty of "Hey, Hey Hey's" that get stuck in your head. Nearly as strong as Bad Boys but a worthy single release which is very anthemic for all the single ladies listening to the song and one that I imagine would be played to death in clubs or at hen night parties. 4/5
"Dumb" is a quick paced track that trips along not really going anywhere and is another filler album track. Not bad by any means but certainly not a strong song, it is another that I tend to skip to get to the next song which for me is my favourite. 3/5
"Overcome", the title track is outstanding. It sounds wonderfully produced with clear, strong vocals and is reminiscent of the earlier song "The Silence". It could be said that this is back into Leona Zone but as Burke's vocals are huskier and dare I say it, dirtier, she delivers a faultless performance on this song that even Leona couldn't pull off. The song starts off slow and quiet but builds fantastically to an out and out belter, my absolute favourite track on the whole album 5/5.
"Gotta Go" and "You Broke my Heart" are next and both sound like songs we have already heard, "Gotta go" is back into album filler mode and doesn't present anything ground breaking, "You Broke my Heart" is more upbeat and reminds me of "Bury Me (6 Feet Under)". Neither are bad songs, but are by no means the best on here and after listening to "Overcome" I can't help but feel a little deflated with these two songs. "Filler fodder" and only 3/5 from me.
"Nothing But The Girl" sees a welcome return to earlier form although I can't help being reminded of Alesha Dixon for some reason, it's a club track that is fast paced and one for the dance floor, a good addition but very generic , better than a filler song though so a 4/5 rate
Nearly at the end now with the penultimate song, "They Don't Know", a slow ballad affair that is different to "The Silence" and "Overcome". Rather melancholy and slows the pace down nicely for the last song on the album and Burkes Xfactor winners single 3/5
"Hallelujah". I'm sure everyone has heard this version by now and opinion was divided from the start. For me it shows off Burke's strong vocals and impressive range, I actually don't like the song all that much personally and think it's a bit self-important really. However it is a perfect song to end the album with and catapulted Ms Burke to the top of the charts. I can't criticize the performance of the song even though I don't rate it all that much so for me it only gets 3/5.
Overall then this album, rather like a game of football is one of two halves. Some tracks are amazing and rate as being as near to perfect as you can get whereas others are wannabe's, it could be argued that the album on the whole is repetitive but some of the songs included are that good that you can forgive the fillers and concentrate on the ones that shine through.
On hearing the album as a whole you can certainly tell that a lot of effort went into it to make it as polished and produced as it is, time and money have been invested in Ms Burke and this debut album is a testament to the hours that have been put into it. I liked Alexandra on The X Factor and was pleased when she won the competition; I found her to be funny, charismatic and definitely had *it* whatever that is.
For me it's an album that is often played and my picks are: "Bad Boys", "Good Night, Good Morning", "The Silence", "All Night Long", "Broken Heels", "Overcome" "Nothing But the Girl" and, rather begrudgingly "Hallelujah", and that's 8 out of the 13 for me so more than half overall.
Not quite a five star album, but as near as dammit, 4/5 Dooyoo stars from me and a huge thumbs up. Available from the usual places for around a tenner and on Amazon for £6.48 definitely worth it at that price simply for the single releases, buy it, you may be surprised.
Thanks for reading my review.
Reality shows, in the UK at least, do not tend to produce credible or long-lasting artists. Most produce a highly successful debut off the back of winning the show, putting out a CD that is crammed full of covers and uninspired ballads. Then fade into obscurity. However, Leona Lewis was the exception to this rule, and as Simon Cowell discovered when 'Bleeding Love' hit #1 in 34 countries, and 'Spirit' sold over 6 Million copies, it is quality that sells.
So, it comes as no surprise that the debut from Alexandra Burke is a well-oiled, high-budget affair - with writing and production from all the biggest names in pop music today. Coupled with her glossy, high-budget music videos, it is evident that all eyes are on Ms. Burke to become an international superstar. However, hype aside - is this album up to scratch?
It opens with the #1 smash-hit, 'Bad Boys'. Her first offering acts as a good taste of things to come. While it neither shows lyrical depth or phenomenal vocals, it is a good pop song and Alexandra really suits it. The chorus is admittedly a little cheesy but you can't stop yourself from singing along. Rich with personality ("Some people call them players... but I'm far from terrified") but little originality, the Flo-Rida guest seems a little forced. However, it is obvious that he will be a strong asset in trying to break America. The thing is, whether you want to like this song or not, nothing can fight the fact that it is incredibly catchy. I guarantee after a couple of listens you will be addicted!
The second track is duet with Ne-Yo, produced by hit-makers Stargate (responsible for recent hits by Ne-Yo, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Jordin Sparks to name but a few). It's a seductive, almost mesmerising song entitled 'Goodnight, Goodmorning'. I was a little sceptical at first with this song, just because I was afraid that the duet might seem a little forced. In fact though, it really comes across in the recording that the two have a lot of chemistry and their voices blend together fantastically in the synthy chorus. The verses are so flirtatious but it is conservative enough, to still have some subtlety and class. "What will it be/For you and me/Is it good night?/Or is it good morning?" purrs Alexandra on the chorus. The song is a guaranteed hit, I can assure you. With crisp production, personality and strong vocals, it has all the right ingredients to cook up a storm on the charts.
Track number three is what everyone has been waiting for - the epic ballad. 'The Silence' was produced by RedOne (Lady Gaga's producer), which pleasantly surprised me, as it is absolutely NOTHING like anything he has done before. Quite simply though, this song is sublime. The verses are quite restrained, the production fairly stripped back... then suddenly the chorus hits with crashing drums and powerhouse vocals. "So say you love me, or say you need me/Don't let the silence do the talking" cries out Alexandra, with so much emotion, it really sounds like she is tearing the ballad from her soul. I really love the lyrics to this song and they really paint the perfect image of a relationship in turmoil - and how the awkward silences only make you more worried, as opposed to less. Quite simply, this song is world-class. It is what Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera or Celine Dion should be singing.
'All Night Long' has an introduction that sounds a lot like Beyoncé's 'Sweet Dreams'. The production on this song is fantastic and is screaming out to be a summer hit, as I can imagine it will sound amazing in a club. The lyrics are bright and breezy, as Alexandra's delivery just radiates positivity. This song never fails to put me in a good mood, and while admittedly, it's not a particularly deep song - "As long as I see the strobe lights/I'm dancing all night long" - most good pop music isn't. I must say that there's a wonderful effect that is applied to Alex's voice in the chorus where the words "All Night/All Night/All Night" are just repeated, and it is so irresistibly catchy. You just have to hear it. It's just a fantastic song.
'Bury Me (Six Feet Under)', is an odd-song, in the sense that most of the songs on the album up-till now are distinctly pop or dance. However, this song has a sound that is very reminiscent of Amy Winehouse's 'Back to Black' album. There's a swinging quality to it, and there's a tinkling piano and soulful vocals. Alexandra's vocals sound great, and I enjoy the fact that it adds another dimension to her as an artist. It's a definite grower.
'Broken Heels' is the second cut produced by RedOne. A real girl-power anthem, the song is surprisingly infectious with a fast paced chorus and copious amounts of Hey-Hey-Hey!'s and Oh-Oh-uh-Oh's. With repeated listens, the song really grows on you and it's a definite mood enhancer. Currently serving as the album's second single, it has an incredible music video accompanying it - which showcases Alexandra's magnetism as a performer. It really nicely augments your enjoyment of the song when the visual aspect is added.
'Dumb' is the third and final track produced by RedOne and If I were to sum it up in one word, it would be cheeky. The song's lyrics talk about being with a gorgeous man, but facing the realisation, that he has no substance or intelligence, so he's got to go. The sparky production on the verses goes really well with the lyrics, and the thumping chorus of "Coulda had it/Shoulda had it/Woulda had it/If you were a little less dumb" is completely addictive. I listen to this song over and over, because it's that good.
The second huge ballad on the CD is the title track, 'Overcome'. It follows a similar structure to 'The Silence' in that it has fairly restrained verses, then crashing drums and powerhouse vocals. I really like Alexandra's vocals on this song, particularly in the bridge, and the piano accompaniment in the verses is beautiful. However, the song seems far too similar to Jordin Sparks' 'Battlefield', which is unsurprising, since it was written by the same production-team. However, that aside, it is a memorable fist-clenching ballad of epic proportions.
'Gotta Go' is a plodding, unremarkable mid-tempo, which is the first time on the album where I find both myself and Alexandra bored. Ms. Burke doesn't put much into her delivery, and to be honest, I can see why. While it's not a terrible song, it has a weak hook and it's lyrics are nothing special - just a dreary 4 minute-long request for an ex boyfriend to leave.
'You Broke My Heart' is a glossy-soulful cut, that similarly to 'Bury Me', has a wonderful Motown sound as remade popular by Duffy and Amy Winehouse in recent years. It's got a wonderful bouncy feel to the song, and has exactly what a lot of us love about soul music - the ability to make heartbreaking lyrics into a fun, cheerful song. Alex's voice sounds great here and while it's a grower, it's definitely a worthy addition to the CD.
'Nothing but the Girl' is another Stargate-Produced song that is incredibly confident, as Alexandra sings about the importance of personality over things such as wealth and fame. It's an endearing song that isn't at all clichéd. I really love the beat, it's hard to describe, but it's almost at a tempo like Morse code. The only problem with this song is that the chorus seems rather lacking, as it really just repeats the song title over and over. It's a little bit of a let-down as the verses feel like they are building up to a huge chorus, but don't deliver.
The quiet piano ditty, 'They Don't Know', is a pleasant listening experience but just not that memorable. Perhaps Alexandra's weakness is that her voice is so big, as is her personality, it always feels a disappointment when she's not doing high-octane pop songs or epic power ballads.
The album ends on Alexandra's X Factor winning-song, 'Hallelujah'. There isn't much to say about this really, as most have heard it and without fail have formed an opinion on it. I think it's fair to say that most who are fans of the Jeff Buckley or Leonard Cohen version will detest this song without hearing it, however, those immune to this form of snobbery will appreciate it as a fantastic cover version that showcases Alexandra's voice perfectly.
'Overcome' is a resounding success for Ms. Burke. What it most importantly does is establish her as an artist who is not just your simple cookie-cutter balladeer. Her blend of personality, stellar vocals and strong dance-pop material means that she is carving her own niche as the UK's own Beyoncé. She most certainly has quashed my biggest fear - that she would merely be a carbon copy of Leona Lewis. I think towards the end of the CD, a couple of songs like 'Gotta Go' and 'They Don't Know' let the album down, as they just seem so tame in comparison to their phenomenal preceding tracks. I'd definitely recommend this album to any pop fans, although I feel such great pain for her record label - how on earth will they make the single choices for an album where there could be at least 7 or 8 monster hits released?
NOTE: Also posted on havenforum.co.uk
It's slightly odd, because last year was really the first year I hadn't followed the X Factor shambles, as it had really run out of steam for me. I didn't really know who Alexandra Burke was until I finally relented and tuned in for the final just before Christmas. Throughout the show that night, she seemed unremarkable, nice voice, nice looking girl, but nothing great. Then, she opened her mouth to sing the winning song, Hallelujah and I had goosebumps.
Its not that Hallelujah was that different from the other winning songs Cowell and Co trot out on the nothingth of December every year. Its a cover version given the big piano and mid-song drumroll treatment. However, Alexandra's voice combined with the fact that its one of the best written songs I've heard made it a haunting song that finally fitted the voice of the winning contestant, as opposed to the rather hum-drum version performed moments earlier by boy band JLS.
The album took 9 months to come out, Simon Cowell obviously opting to go the Leona route by taking his time with an artist seemingly destined for some longevity in the fickle pop charts. The difference between Leona Lewis and Alexandra, it would seem, is that Alexandra can cut it away from Mariah Carey-esque ballads, and actually seems to have obtained some credibility despite this only being her first album. This album doesn't suffer from Leona's same-ness, and isn't bogged down by dreary ballads and cover versions.
1. Bad Boys
Employing the rent-a-rapper style for a moment, big leading single for the album doesn't actually suffer from its generic RnB style. Its a big song with a big chorus that actually gets a boost from the fairly ordinary addition of an opening and mid-song rap vocal from Flo-Rida. The chorus is instantly recognisable and had us all singing along with it when it was released a few months ago. A surprising follow up single from an X Factor winner.
2. Good Night Good Morning
This second track features Ne-Yo, who doesn't just turn up to rap with his leading lady. Ne-Yo actually sings a verse in the song as things take a distinctly different direction on the album. This is a very American flavoured track, and leaves us in no doubt where Cowell is flying this lady next.
3. The Silence
Now, I didn't say that this lady didn't do ballads, I just said she didn't oversaturate the album with them. This is balladry at its best though, and her voice is good form. A paltry drumbeat subtly resounds in the background, leaving most of the work to Burke's on form voice throughout.
4. All Night Long
No, not the classic Lionel Ritchie track, but a mid-paced dance track that owes a little to the American RnB sound and a little to Europop. Even in a song as indistinct as this, a sprinkling of Alexandra's voice still manages to up the ante a little. There are also plenty of squiggly bits in the chorus and some heavy input from backing singers to stop things becoming boring quickly.
5. Bury Me (6 Feet Under)
My favourite moment in the album comes when this song kicks in with its chorus and then leads into a slightly jazzed up sound that is slighty reminiscent of Amy Winehouse when she actually sang. Alexandra's voice tones it down and lends itself nicely to this type of music. Its a crap title for a song really, but when you hear the song, it fits in nicely with the message of the song.
6. Broken Heels
This one kinda reminds me of Maneater from Hall & Oates, although its more a distant cousin than any kind of close relative. Its as catchy as hell, and you'll struggle to keep up if you're attempting to sing along with it. Another classic moment on the album, I could actually see this one as a big single for her.
An annoyingly catchy chorus paves its way into our subconscious with this slightly over-produced track. Its another fast one, and sounds different from everything else on the album, but its a bit nondescript in relation to everything else thats around, and really proves just to be a bit of filler.
The title track doesn't quite know if it wants to be big overblown ballad or pop track. Its nicely produced though, and has a nice piano section during the verses that disappears during the chorus. It has a nice melody, great vocal support from the backing singers, and lyrically it is spot on to the title of the track.
9. Gotta Go
There are lots of influences on this album, and this one's backing tracks reminded me a bit of Cutting Crew Died In Your Arms. Although is is far more up to the minute, and nowhere near as twee as that one, it definately reminded me of it when I first heard it. This track is just boring, and I have barely given it another listen since obtaining the album.
10. You Broke My Heart
This isn't as rubbish as it might sound. Alexandra belts it out to a fairly mid-paced jingle that will have you cheering it along. It isn't my favourite song on the album, but I wouldn't go out of my way to skip it. Her vocals are as big as they ever get, and the verse's are friendly enough on the ears.
11. Nothing But The Girl
Things take a strange club turn at this late stage on the album, with a fairly enjoyable europop track that has Alexandra exclaim that you can strip her of everything, but the only thing that will ultimately matter is herself. A fairly reasonable assessment of things I would think, and a welcome addition to the album.
12. They Dont Know
A classy ballad comes in the form of this final track which sounds more like an X Factor song than any of the previous tracks. Saved for the last minute, most people probably wont even notice this track, so its inoffensive balladry at its best, and sits nicely alongside that famous first single Hallelujah as a bonus track.
The album is varied enough and upbeat enough to quickly turn your head and make you realise that this isn't just a one trick pony. Whilst Leona's recent album Echo is as dull as dishwater, and her first wasn't much better, Alexandra's album is a promising first go at pop and deserving of its recent massive selling success. Hopefully she'll stay on track and keep releasing music that is worthy of her big voice and worthy of a too often disappointed audience who should be getting better from Simon Cowell for their phone votes and continued viewing.
The album is available for a £8.98 on amazon, although I did manage to acquire it a bit cheaper recently when buying it as gifts for a couple of people who I thought might also appreciate it. If you are up with the digital times though, you can also buy the download version of the album for only £5 on amazon. £3.98 for a picture cover - as Catherine Tate's foul mouthed granny would say - "what a feckin liberty"
God I seem to be listening to a lot of music lately! Oh well that just means more reviews to write lol. After hearing the catchy song that was "Bad Boys" I thought I needed to have a look and see if the rest of X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke's album was as good. I wasnt really a big fan of her when she was preforming on the X-Factor last year but because her first single was so good I thought the album must be great as well so I started downloading it to take a listen.
The Tracks + My Opinions:
We have all heard this song by now and if you havent where on earth have you been?
This track features Flo Rida who is a massive name in RnB and I think these two artists work very well together on this track. It is incredibly catchy and you will find yourself tapping your feet along to it. This song is definatley a grower because I hated it when I first heard it but now I cant get enough of it! 5/5
Goodnight Good Morning
I was very intrigued when it came to listening to this song because it features Neyo who is one of my favourite artists. Unfortunatley I didnt really enjoy it, it did have a great pop/RnB style to it which is usually the exact type of music I enjoy but for some reason I just didnt like this one. Having said that I really like Neyo's part of the song even though that is pretty minimal. 3/5
This was just an okay track. Its not amazing but nor is it the worst song from the album again its more of a slower song on which she concentrates on sounding great more than anyhting else. But its a decent enough song with a catchy chorus. 3/5
All Night Long
This is a song that will definatley grow on me with time it has funky beat and a good chorus so really its an all round winner. I think Alex did a good job on this song and it's one I will be listening to again. 4.5/5
I didnt like it. Lol. They have experimented a lot wiht different types of music on this album and I dont think their gamble has paid off. I do think however that most other peeople will love this song because it is a catchy pop track. It just didnt do it for my ears lol. 2/5
I lovelovelove this song! In fact I think this track has just been released as a single and I am sure it will be a massive success. This track is defianltey one that grows on you because the first time I heard it I hated it, but since then it has come a long way to becoming one of the most played song on my ipod. Its very catchy and upbeat and it sort of reminds me of the style of Christina Aguliera's Candyman. I bet no-one else think that though lol. Best album track without a doubt. 5/5
Omg! A song I actually liked! This is an incredibly catchy song especially the beginning of the track and the chorus. Now doubt the will become a massive success if/when she chooses to release it as a single. Some might say annoyingly catchy but very catchy nonetheless and you will find yourself tapping along to it without realising. 4.5/5
This is quite a slow song but with a very pwoerful chorus that shows off what an amazing singer Alex actually is. Ive heard this song is written from her personal experiences and whether that is true or not I have no idea but she certainly packs a hell of a lot of emotion into this track so maybe it is personal to her. This one is worth a listen and I enjoyed it. 4/5
While I was listening to this song it was like I was waiting for something that never came. Like a big powerful chorus that seemed to be being built up but never arrived. Thsi track isnt for me at all it just seemed weak and badly put together. But what do I know? I bet everyone else will love it! 1/5
You Broke My Heart
Another song I didnt like. It seems that I only wnjoyed listening to a handful of the songs on this album and all the others including this one are pretty easy to forget. I really reminded me of a song I have heard before even though I cant think for the life of me what that song is, so Im guesing this song isnt very unique. Alex does a great job on the singing as usual though. 2/5
Nothing But The Girl
I think the writers of this song has took a massive risk by giving her a challenge and really experimenting to what kind of music she can and cant sing and I think the song back fired. I dont think particular style is good for her it doesnt show off any of her unique style or her fabulous voice and is pretty boring. The backing track is okay but even that isnt great. 2/5
If Im honest I prefer the original version of this song, but as I mentioned in a review earlier whenever someone does a cover it will inevitably be comlared to the original and in most cases like this one it wont be as good. This song was a good choice for Alexandra though because she has the voice and vocals to do the song justice so I cant fault her really at all. I prefer it when she is up there dancing and singing a really upbeat song though. 3.5/5
Skip To: Broken Heels, Bad Boys & Dumb
Skip Past: Gotta Go
There are a handful of songs I will be listening to again and it seems that those songs are the more upbeat RnB tracks rather than the slow and powerful ones. But I guess thats just down to my personal taste in music. I think Alexandra did a great job actually singing the songs it was just the song I didnt like nothing to do with her voice. I recommend the songs I mentioned above but I wouldnt go out and spend my money on the album, I wouldnt listen to it enough for it to be worth it but I would say have a peek on youtube at some of the tracks. Overall this album is a good start for Alexandra and Im sure she will be become a massive success because of it, Im just hoping her 2nd album if she makes one will be much better as she grows as an artist.
Thanks For Reading
x-0 Salz 0-x
To be honest i wasnt expecting much from this album as i wasnt a big fan of hers when she was on X Factor. I didnt really enjoy hearing her sing big boring ballads every week, and i expected the album to be equally as boring. I have been proved very wrong though!
After hearing "bad boys" a few times on the radio i knew i had to get the album. It definately wasnt what i was expecting from her, what with the catchy club tune, dance routine and Flo Rida featuring! Although there are a few balady songs on this album there are still good songs that i could imagine dancing to while out. "All night long" is my favourite on the album. It has good catchy lyrics and even though it has a romantic theme it has a good base line that kicks in at the courus.
I would recommened this, as she has worked really hard to make this a good varied album with something to suit everyone on it. Definately worth a listen.
Overcome is the debut album release from Alexandra Burke. The standard physical release has thirteen tracks, the iTunes version has fourteen and it's the iTunes version that I'm reviewing here.
I'm not a musical snob. God knows with tastes like mine, I could hardly afford to be. So I can honestly say that I have no objection to buying music from singers who have appeared on TV 'talent' shows. In the UK, they've been a bit of a mixed bag. Whilst Leona Lewis has a 'nice' voice, she has the personality of a dead shrew and leaves me a bit cold. But there's something about Alexandra Burke that I really like. I like her image - kind of sexy, but not forced. I like her personality - upbeat, energetic and unpretentious, not afraid to have a giggle. I like her voice too - sort of smooth, kind of soulful and powerful too, when it needs to be.
Overcome is a perfectly acceptable debut album. It's very radio-friendly, with a mixture of sounds and styles to suit mainstream tastes, but it's also just a little bit daring enough to show that Burke isn't prepared just to 'fit in'. There are collaborations with some big names, to give it a bit of A-list quality, as if the record industry is prepared to demonstrate its willingness to invest in Burke's future. There's also a refreshing absence of cover versions here, with all but one of the tracks entirely original to the album, shaking off those karaoke X-Factor roots and proving that Burke is here for the duration.
The track listing comprises a relative who's who of the big R & B/pop producers available today. Lead single Bad Boys is a partnership with Flo Rida and The Phantom Boyz. Ne-Yo collaborates on two tracks (and provides guest vocals on one). Producers Stargate collaborated on two tracks also (they previously worked with Burke's hero Beyonce and Ne-Yo). RedOne (who seem to have produced songs by just about everybody this year, including Lady Gaga and Sugababes) produced three tracks and there are a number of other production talents cropping up elsewhere. On the downside, this means that the album isn't terribly fluid. Sounds range from soulful R & B to a more sixties-style soul sound and then over to a less edgy pop sound. The upside of course is that it's generally all very energetic and barely leaves a second to take breath before lurching off into something else. The risk with this approach, of course, is that the finished product sounds just a little too polished and over-produced, but generally Overcome doesn't succumb to this problem, due, in no small part, to Burke's vocal personality.
Her range is quite impressive, as she masters varying styles and pitches, booming out when she needs to, softly whispering when not. She seems very versatile, able to adapt to the mood very easily. On Good Night, Good Morning, for example, she complements Ne-Yo almost perfectly and commands enough individuality not to be lost in the background against what is otherwise a highly distinctive voice. Surprisingly, it's probably when she strays more towards the Leona end of the market that she seems to struggle. On They Don't Know, for example, she seems a little bit lost, unsure whether to warble along to the slightly slower pace as Leona might, opting instead for a sort of halfway house that doesn't quite convince.
The mixed bag of styles inevitably leads to a range of tracks that can either appeal hugely or bore the listener senseless. Opening track Bad Boys, for example, was an enormous commercial success but seems rather trite and cheesy in comparison to much of the rest of the album. The light-touch production and infuriatingly persistent percussion are a bit of a turn-off and the song's success remains a mystery to me. Indeed, despite the complaints about the choice of song matter for a Christmas number one, Burke's version of Hallelujah has far greater presence (and is featured here towards the end, like some kind of dirty secret.) But there are plenty of other highlights. The Ne-Yo duet Good Night Good Morning would make a worthy single. The vocals are spot on, the lyrics are just about flirty enough and the production works really well. Broken Heels is a riot, a cacophony of booming vocals, including a snatch of Burke talking to us (a misfire in all honesty) accompanied by a pounding beat that couldn't keep anybody away from the dance floor. "Dumb" is pretty good too, a sort of cheeky electro-pop number about blokes being a bit shallow, a song which only somebody like Burke really gets away with (Leona probably couldn't even spell the word). All Night Long is lovely - a mid-tempo, soulful groove with a retro, disco sound that makes you feel as though Burke has been around forever. You Broke My Heart is perhaps one of the most versatile tracks, with Burke in full Duffy mood, proving she has a strong appetite for soul music.
All in, it's pretty good stuff. It's not perfect, of course, a couple of the tracks drift off a bit, but for a debut album (and notably a debut X Factor album) this is worthy of the praise and sales. Burke doesn't offer any writing or production input here, which is all fair enough at this stage, but I'd love to see a bit more of that huge personality invested here. Maybe next time, eh?
(By the way, it's worth getting the iTunes version though - the fourteenth track (I Think It's Over) is really good and sorely missing from the actual CD.)
If there's one huge advantage of music streaming facilities it is that one gets the opportunity to try out new music and artists at a relatively low cost (or even no cost). Rather than "playing safe" I've recently started experimenting with my musical choices and listening to things that there's precious little chance that I'd go out to buy without having first heard more than a couple of songs from the album.
Having said that, there's usually a hook that will get me to try an album rather than just idle curiosity. The hook for Alexandra Burke's album, Overcome, was her first hit "Hallelujah".
Burke is probably best known as being the 2008 X-Factor winner and her debut single "Hallelujah" topped the charts and appeared to be an instant hit. There is something very haunting about her voice when applied to this song and rather than my usual response to talent show hits of "it's a one hit wonder" I did actually think that there might be some life in this young girl.
Soulful this is not though. As a whole the album is probably a good showcase for modern R&B hits. It attempts to cross the genre from the more laid back motown styled hits such as "Bury Me" (which has more than a hint of Amy Winehouse about it!) through to more chart-styled hits such as "Dumb" which reminded me of recent hits such as "Umbrella" by Rihanna.
Note though the use of the word "attempts". Whilst there is undeniably a mix of styles within the album the whole feels rather empty. I couldn't get "Girls Aloud" out of my head when I was trying to decide what the album reminded me of. There is a shallow nature to the whole album and it lacks the soul that her debut hit hinted at.
Much as I dislike collaboration hits that seem to be put on albums for "name's sake" I do actually like the follow on single "Bad Boys" which features Flo Rida. It gels well with the rest of the album and is perhaps one of the most felt tracks. It's a shame that the same cannot be said of "Good Night Good Morning" the feature with Ne-Yo. There's such a lack of depth to this track that one wonders why it was included. It just doesn't sit with the rest of the album.
For an album that collates the skills of some of the greatest in the music industry at the moment this was a deeply disappointing album. I don't think that much thought was brought to bear when considering how all of the "greats" would gel together to form a cohesive whole. Whitney Houston's style was never going to sit neatly beside Shakira's as an example, and yet this is what we have with this album. Undoubtedly Ms Burke has a superb voice and an enviable range of both vocals and style but she's been sold rather short with this offering and gained a rather over-produced, ill-considered album that I don't think does her justice.
I suspect the truth lies in the marketing - the heavy US influence in the choice of guest artists might suggest that this is an album designed for across the pond. It was always going to sell in the UK such is the power of the first offering from a reality show but that power rarely extends across to the US. I think this is a targeted album and it's not the UK market that's the target. In trying to capture a larger audience than one might associate with a pop album I suspect that the producers might have succeeded only in alienating groups. One cannot help but think that Alexandra will have to decide which style is hers. Those in search of soulful belters won't tolerate another album that's as eclectic as this. Nor will those seeing the electronic beats and rap collaborations. Those who would buy Duffy, Winehouse, Rihanna and Jay-Z are not going to want the music of the others.
As for the hit that was her first it sits totally out of place at the end of this album. Truth is it has no place in the album at all. It jars and feels odd. It's a reality show winner's song, not a song that belongs on this album.
Result? I'd buy several songs from the album but I'd be picky. As a whole the album just doesn't work. That, following on from the soulful "Hallelujah" Alexandra turned out an album that was so lacking in soul is deeply, deeply disappointing. Overcome? No. So(u)ld Out? Yes.
I watch x factor every now and then so was aware that Alexandra Burke was last years winner, and hence would go off to America and produce a big album. The main commercial track was Bad Boys with Flo Rida, but its actually the second track with Neyo that made me check this album out on Spotify.
Usually I start of on debut albums with a bit of biography so of course I did my research and checked out a few of her performances on the X Factor. She was easily the strongest singer in the competiton, but I guess thats not hard when the competition was the likes of eoghan quigg....
Now people make out like she has some amazing voice and bang on about her duet with Beyonce, but what stood out very clearly to me was the diffrence between hers and Beyonce's voice. Beyonce looked like she was putting in about 25% of the effort of Alexandra Burke and yet her voice sounded much better and it looked completely effortless. I guess thats why Beyonce is one of the biggest artists in the world.
There are elements of this album where she is clearly trying to be like Beyonce, by mixing up ballads with faster club bangers, although of course due to her British roots, a lot of the tracks have more of a British vibe to them which is always good to see, and shows she hasnt been completely Americanized, well not yet anyway.
Like I said before the track that got me to listen to this was Good Night Good Morning with Neyo. They both shine here and Neyo does his usualy catchy hooks, you can guarantee that this will be released as a single at some point. After all it is the only other track here with a true international artist.
Other highlights include the Silence, and Broken Heels. I understand the latter is going to be her next single, so its good she has gone with a more upbeat track again like with Bad Boys, and I imagine that the next track released after this will be The Silence, and then finally the neyo track.
However the album I found does drop away in the second half, and I doubt I will be coming back to listen to it again, as it is very manufactured and a very safe option, which I guess is understandable as it is her debut. Clearly Leona Lewis is in another league to her, and I'm not sure if years from now Alexandra Burke will still be releasing big albums, with international artists featuring on her albums. Maybe I'm wrong, I guess only time will tell.
Overcome is the debut album from last year's X Factor winner Alexandra Burke. With a great balance between up-beat R&B and classic soul it's no wonder that this album went straight to number one.
The CD itself is pretty standard with information on the back and an included booklet. The booklet is filled with some great pictures, thank you messages and lyrics which are great to have (although the lyric layout is extremely cluttered to save space.)
Now onto the music, this album definitely has something for everyone with some mainstream pop tunes and some classic soulful ballads. Alex's voice is definitely unique and makes listening to this album so enjoyable. Here's an in-depth look into each track:
1) Bad Boys (feat. Flo Rida)
Bad Boys is Alex's well known debut single that also went straight to the top of the charts. A very up-beat and modern R&B song that is sure to be a hit at any party. Flo Rida also features on this track, at first it may seem out of place or not very "Alex-like" if you were a fan of her X Factor performances, but after 2-3 plays you'll love this song. [5/5]
2) Good Night Good Morning (feat. Ne-yo)
Another great up-tempo track, slightly unusual with a indie-techno backing beat. Lyrics could have been better as they are very repetitive and almost meaningless, but Ne-Yo and Alex make a great collaboration making this track extremely enjoyable. [4/5]
3) The Silence
The first ballad on the album showing off Alex's powerful soul voice. An amazing song with some great lyrics The Silence is brilliantly suited to Alex's voice and makes for really easy listening. [4/5]
4) All Night Long
The album picks up again with All Night Long, another up-beat R&B song fit for the clubs. A great party song with really catchy lyrics and melody, this could easily be another number one hit. [4/5]
5) Bury Me
Bury Me is definitely the dark horse of the album, first time round it can only be described as unusual with the backing vocals and jingle melody, but it's only after that you'll realise how catchy it is and how much of a brilliant christmas number one it would be. The festive music and Alex's soulful voice make it perfectly suited to the holiday season. [4/5]
6) Broken Heels
Broken Heels is a dance/R&B anthem produced by RedOne, one of the biggest new producers of 2009. This song features a great dance melody, is brilliant to listen to and I'm 95% sure it will be released as a single sooner or later. [4/5]
Similar to Broken Heels in terms of temp and beat, but so much catchier. The chorus and bridge are really addictive and you'll probably find yourself singing along every time. Great song and possibly one of my favourites. [5/5]
Overcome is the title song of the album and it doesn't disappoint. This is the second ballad of the album with great lyrics and powerful vocals fuelling the true emotion of the song. The only problem I have with this song is that it was produced by the same person as Jordin Spark's Battlefield and the beat has clearly been copy and pasted in the chorus. [4/5]
9) Gotta Go
Unfortunately after this point in the album most of the great songs have passed and it starts to die down. Gotta Go is still quite a good song but not as catchy as the songs before it, nevertheless it still have some great lyrics and powerful vocals making it enjoyable to listen to. [3.5/5]
10) You Broke My Heart
You Broke My Heart was originally written by Pixie Lott. I love the music on this track with some amazing drums and piano instrumentals. Unfortunately I feel the song would have been more suited to Pixie as it doesn't really suit Alex's natural voice, either way it's still a great song. [4/5]
11) Nothing But The Girl
Nothing but the Girl is the last upbeat track on the album and is actually quite good. Takes a little while to get into it but the catchy melody makes it a good song. Unfortunately the backing beat in the verses does make it seem slightly monotonous. [3/5]
12) They Don't Know
They Don't Know is the final song of the album ending it with another soulful ballad. This song is very moving and has some great lyrics, the song is really suited to Alex's voice, similar with what we feel in love with on the X Factor. She's done a few live performances of this so it will may be her next single. [4/5]
It's nice to see that they included her X Factor single in the album as they usually leave it out. I really like this song and although some people say Jeff Buckley's version is better I prefer this over the original. [5/5]
I also pre-ordered the album last year and got a free 2nd CD thrown in. This includes 5 of her live performances from the X Factor; Listen (unfortunately not the duet with Beyonce), Toxic, You Are So Beautiful, Relight My Fire and Unbreak My Heart which makes a nice addition to the album.
Overall Overcome is a great first album and there's genres in here to make it enjoyable for most people. Filled with brilliant songs from start to finish it's definitely worth checking out!
Alexandra Burke is the latest winner of British talent show The X Factor, but luckily I don't think she is going to be doing a Leon or Steve Brookstein by disappearing on us a year later. In fact, Alexandra did a Leona and disappeared to American for nearly 12 months after winning the show last December to record her album and it's finally been released, and shot to number 1 on the week after her debut single Bad Boys topped the singles chart. I bought the album based on the strength of that song and I'm glad I did - it's fab.
There is a great mix of music on this album - a few ballads, a soul number and a great selection of upbeat dance tracks as well. I'll start with Alexandra's recent single and her second UK number one Bad Boys. It was a hit with me the first time I heard it, and I still love it even now! It's got a catchy chorus, and even a little rap by Flo-Rida to funk it up a bit, and I think she's definitely set the tone for her future singles with this one. The track that follows is another uptempo number, but more R'n'B based than the pop of Bad Boys. "Good Night Good Morning" starts slowly and builds as it progresses and finally the chorus kicks in and will have you singing along very quickly! This song actually features the fab Ne-Yo and I think he complements Alexandra's soulful voice well and it's one of my favourite songs on the album.
Another of the more dancey songs I love on the album is track 4, All Night Long. I think this is probably going to be a single release for Alexandra as it's incredibly catchy and again is a more pop based number. There's a catchy synth sounding riff through the chorus, and it works well with her voice. Broken Heels, track 6 on the album, is one of my lesser favourites on the album, mainly because I think the beat and sound is very similar to Alesha Dixon's hit "The Boy Does Nothing". It's good enough, but nothing new and is just okay for an album track - I hope she doesn't release this one.
Slowing it down a bit, there are a few ballads on the album and I'm pleased that they haven't gone totally down the route of another Leona-esque album of slower paced songs. The ballad everyone will know on here is her winner's single "Hallelujah" which is right at the end of the album, track 13. It's a lovely song, it suits Alexandra's voice and will be the song everyone remembers her for. The Silence, which is track 3, was a ballad I didn't initially like but has definitely grown on me the more I hear it. The verses aren't all that special, but I love the melody of the chorus and Alexandra is able to belt out the high notes which ease. The album's title track Overcome, number 8, is another ballad, but more of a power ballad compared to The Silence. It's got heavy drums through the chorus with what sounds like a choir backing her vocals, and Alexandra is really powering out that strong voice of hers, and again this is another grower for me.
One of my favourite tracks of all on the album is track 7, Dumb. It's a RnB sounding number, with a really funky and catchy riff at the start. The verses sound much slower than the chorus but that's what I love about this song. The fast paced dancey chorus is infectious and I love the words too, it's my favourite track by a long way and Alexandra definitely suits this type of song. Track 9, Gotta Go, is another one of the track that I'm not all that fussed about. It's a bit middle-of-the-road compared to some of the other stand out tracks. It features a good vocal from Alexandra but I can see why it was shoved back to number 9, it's definitely an album track for me. The track following this, You Broke My Heart might sound like it could be a ballad but it's another pop number. It's a fun and young sounding song, and another one which is growing on me the more I hear it. Alexandra's voice does sound synthesised on here so for some of the song I don't think it sounds like her but it's a good song nonetheless, although not the strongest.
Rounding off the album is another one of my favourite songs, Nothing But The Girl. It's an out and out dance number, and I wish it had been much higher up the track listing on the album because it's fab, and the chorus is amazing on this one. The pacei s immediately slowed after this with They Don't Know, a piano led manner which strips back Alexandra's vocal from the produced dance numbers, and it's quite a soft and easy to listen to song. It's nice, but being right to Hallelujah, it does end the album up on a bit of a slow note and would be have been better place elsewhere on the album. You'll may have noticed that I haven't yet mentioned the albums 5th track, Bury Me. It doesn't seem to fit into the album at all, and I don't like this song at all. It's an almost Amy Winehouse sounding number, quite jazzy and soulful but seems out of place and therefore I found hard to enjoy this song. Alexandra's voice sounds nice but I just don't think this music suits her.
Out of 13 tracks, there is only 1 which I really dislike, a couple - 2 at most - I think are average so I think that's pretty good going for a debut album. There are some real stand out tracks on here - All Night Long, Dumb, The Silence and Good Night Good Morning and the rest are all quite brilliant too. Alexandra has got a great selection of tracks here to showcase her vocal talents with both fast paced songs and ballads represented, so there is something to suit everyone. It's a young and energetic album, and it suits the personality of its singer which is really important. She looks great on the cover in a silver mini dress and the album's booklet also features some great pictures of Alexandra too.
I would definitely recommend this album if you loved Alexandra on the X Factor, or even if you didn't actually because it is a high quality with a load of excellent songs. It's a great debut and ensures that Alexandra has secured herself a great place in the market. If I have one complaint it's that I would have loved her version of Beyonce's "Listen" to feature on it because I think that was such a turning point for Alex on The X Factor but never mind! It's available in both CD and MP3 format on Amazon and I would definitely recommend getting hold of it one way or another. Musical brilliance.
1. Bad Boys feat. Flo-Rida
2. Good Night Good Morning feat. Ne-Yo
3. The Silence
4. All Night Long
5. Bury Me (6 Feet Under)
6. Broken Heels
9. Gotta Go
10. You Broke My Heart
11. Nothing But The Girl
12. They Don't Know.
13. Hallelujah (Bonus Track)
Thank you for reading.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Bad Boys
2 Goodnight Good Morning
4 All Night Long
5 Bury Me
6 Broken Heels
9 Gotta Go
10 You Broke My Heart
11 Nothing But The Girl
12 They Don't Know
13 Bonus Song: Hallelujah