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I Keep Bleeding Love
Spirit - Leona Lewis
Member Name: GramiWay
Spirit - Leona Lewis
Advantages: Some brilliant tracks here and amazing vocals
Disadvantages: Too many ballads
The shy 22 year old from London went on to win the show and bag a million pound recording contract. Instead of releasing an album of limp cover versions as soon as possible, she spent much of the following year perfecting her debut album making it a record to be proud of. After taking the UK by storm with the CD and lead single 'Bleeding Love' at the end of 2007 - Leona has gone on to conquer the entire world this year even reaching the top of the Billboard chart with both the album and single.
So is all the attention really worth it? Is this album the best thing ever? Or is it just an over hyped Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey tribute to line Simon Cowell's pockets? Here is my track by track review of 'Spirit'.
01 Bleeding Love 10/10
Well I think it's safe to say she will NEVER top this record. Like a modern day 'I Will Always Love You' and written by Jesse McCartney and OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder 'Bleeding Love' is the biggest cross between rnb, pop, soul and emo you're ever going to come across.
The lyrics are something I think almost anybody who listens can relate to whilst Leona's vocals are perfection especially at the last bridge and the haunting church organ that is present throughout complete with a heavy, distorted marching band, drum loop as well which gives the song a really unique and tainted vibe.
02 Whatever It Takes 08/10
Co-written by the lady herself this is a brilliant slice of pop injected with just a hint of soul. Leona has a confidence that radiates through her vocals and really forces the listener
to believe in what she sings. The lyrics as is common with most tracks on the album are good but it's the catchy hook that sells this song.
03 Homeless 06/10
I honestly didn't like this track at all. It reminds me of the sort of song that should be stuck at the end of an album as filler not early on. It has a brilliant intro and a very haunting feel to it though is more in blues and motown territory than most tracks here. It just seems like a very, dull and uninspiring ballad
even though Lewis' vocals as usual are exceptional. The track is a cover of a Swedish singer called Darin.
04 Better In Time 09/10
Leona has a habit of delivering the lyrics of each of her songs very dramatically as if reading from a script on a stage. That's true again in this track which has a similar sort of piano led melody as 'Whatever It Takes'. Even though I love this track and think it's one of the best here at times it seems like Leona's vocals
don't really suit the style of this song.
05 Yesterday 07/10
Yesterday sees Leona trying to move into Mariah Carey territory by delivering a slow RNB number that doesn't really stand out at all.
06 Take A Bow 08/10
This is Leona at her most angry - so watch out! All things said the song has a lot darker and haunting feel to it than most of the other tracks here and sees Leona's vocals wrapping themselves around the lyrics and delivering yet another earth shattering performance.
Unfortunately there's not really enough angst or bitterness in her performance to make it stand out as anything but another ballad styled song with a foreboding RNB laid beat beneath it.
07 I Will Be 07/10
Whilst I have nothing against this it is really not the sort of song fitted to Leona. Originally sung and co-written by Avril Lavigne, Leona delivers another amazing vocal performance here turning the song into a more soulful ballad than the slow, rock sound Lavigne adopted, but it just doesn't seem to sound right.
08 Angel 10/10
A brilliant song here. If you've heard Jordin Sparks' 'Tattoo' you'll recognise the background vocals and beats and melody here. The only thing that is different is the vocalist and the lyrics obviously. But this still a brilliant song
and sees Leona tackling a different style as the track has a more 'pop' sound to it. It was also produced by Stargate famous for working with the likes of Beyonce, Ne*Yo, Rihanna and Chris Brown.
09 Here I Am 08/10
By now the ballads are pretty much second nature to Leona and another one is churned out here. It doesn't really adopt a different approach or style to any of the other tracks in the same vein so far
though is still pleasant enough to listen rto and a lot better than 'Yesterday' and 'Homeless'
10 I'm You 09/10
Ne*Yo actually produced this one and it's a brilliant, dark and poignant portrayal of self hate. Leona is brilliant here with her vocals oozing emotion against the
depressing RNB beats that take over the song. Definately a stand out song here that sees her move away from the ballad territory.
11 The Best You Never Had 10/10
One of my favourite songs on the record though I was hoping for a bit more angst here but sadly I was disappointed as it seems even when making a point about being the best the person sang about will never have, Leona can't bring herself to stray from her nice girl image.
The song has a brilliant pop chorus complete with catchy hooks and beats and the vocals have a kind of echo-led feel on the verses that make this different to anything else on the CD so far.
12 The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face 05/10
Very boring and uninspiring cover version. Seems they just stuck two very pitiful, boring ballads on at the end.
13 Footprints In The Sand 07/10
I like the lyrics here as the song is based on the poem 'Footprints' but the song is rather dull in itself thoug hLeona's usual vocal style and harmonies do make it worth a listen every once in a while.
The UK and other international editions come with 'A Moment Like This' whilst the US version differs in the order shown above and contains some new tracks recorded especially for its release.
All in all Leona has created quite a strong,m debut record nevertheless fueled by Cowell's connections I suspect. However she has a lot of talent and potential and the ability to be around for a very long time and represent the UK on world class level.
It would be nice to see her tackle some different genres in future other than the pointless ballads that do seem to clog up and lower the overall rating of this album. It seems at times as well that too much focus is put on her vocals rather than making good enough music to accompany her and I can't help but think of the major divas like Whitney and Mariah when listening to certain songs on here.
Summary: A very strong debut from The X Factor winner showing her world class potential