Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Leona Lewis preps her 'Glassheart'

The fall is traditionally dominated with X Factor acts returning, or making their debut on the UK charts. Cher Lloyd landed her first #1 a few weeks back with her debut single "Swagger Jagger," Matt Cardle debuted his new single "Run For Your Life" on radio this week, One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful" is released to digital outlets this week and Alexandra Burke's forthcoming lead single from her upcoming sophomore album is expected to hit radio stations next week.

The shows biggest success story, Leona Lewis readies her third album, Glassheart out in November 28. The album follows the rather soft reception of her last album Echo which in some respects, brought the songstress' career to a gentle halt, following the ridiculously colossal success of her debut Spirit, which became one of the best selling albums in UK history--sales tallying over 3 million and landed the massive worldwide hit "Bleeding Love." So when Echo's sales peaked at 600k and failed to spawn a #1 hit (It's lead single "Happy" came close, debuting at #2, infamously blocked by the Black Eyed Peas' "Meet Me Halfway") it was quite the setback.

The album itself wasn't bad. In my review, I praised it for not shifting gears too violently but rather embracing the mix of pop, light rock and R&B of her debut and building on it. Of course the common idea is to link its commercial failure to "poor" quality. However, for her third album it seems Lewis continues her tradition of subtle growth--as we've already seen with the Avicii backing track stealing lead single "Collide" a synth-drenched dance production with underpinning piano chords nicely accommodating Lewis' blustery vocal. It's a shift in sound I certainly I embraced, however greeted a mixed critical reception.

The album is set to be a diverse mix of uptempo dance-pop, with elements of dub-step, probably in the same vein as "Collide," telling from the LQ snippets of title track "Glassheart" which adheres the same dance-pop blanket and her signature ballads. The rumored second single "Trouble" is set to debut soon. Producers on board include Claude Kelly, Fraser T. Smith, Dallas Austin, Rico Love, Ne-Yo and returning Ryan Tedder.

Also, in my review I used American singer's Mariah Carey and Kelly Clarkson as a framing devices for Lewis' own career. Carey because she's a voice Lewis is often compared too and Clarkson as she is Lewis' American, American Idol counterpart--Echo was either going to be her Emotions or her Breakway. Well it certainly wasn't her Breakway, for if my logic means anything at all, shouldn't this album be her Music Box?

1 comment:

ww_adh said...

That's an interesting thesis. If it is her Music Box, is "Collide" her "Dreamlover?" I remember at the time thinking that "Dreamlover" was a bit different for Carey, for being more poppy, youthful and upbeat than most of her previous stuff. Certainly "Collide" is a new sound for Leona.