Leona Lewis is back, firm and strong. After seven years with Simon Cowell's label, she's finally plucked up the courage to leave the man who made her a superstar. And she's never sounded as sure as she does in her latest album, I Am.
"I'm coming back with the thunder", she announces in opening track Thunder, backed up by pulsing piano riffs. Lead single Fire Under My Feet takes the message to the next level. It's confident and defiant, with Lewis' powerhouse vocals piercing through the stomping drums in a track that's bound to get you nodding along.
Ballad You Knew Me When is another highlight: a song with minimal musical accompaniment to let her voice shine through. She's singing her heart out, and her raw, dignified vocals make this one of the most compelling songs.
While I Am is essentially a break-up album, it doesn't get too bitter and the songs have a positive message. Electropop piece Power and the upbeat I Got You promise that things will be all right. If that's not enough, electronic dance song Another Love Song should get your spirits up with its tricky drum beats.
The "ex-factor" is definitely working out well.