Clearly time for balladeering

Clearly time for balladeering

When Leona Lewis released her debut single, Bleeding Love, there was a general understanding that she was the new Big Voice, the younger generations' Whitney. But nothing since that song has grabbed and wrung listeners' guts to the same extent; sadly her recent release Glassheart is no exception.

There's a time when going "trendy" works - turning to R&B revitalised Mariah Carey's career, after all - but sometimes a successful formula should be left alone. Lewis has a killer voice when it comes to ballads, capable of conveying melancholy while remaining stunningly gorgeous, as she proves in Lovebird (ignore the silly "dum dum ditty" refrain) and the pared-down Fingerprint.

But her vocals are less suited to the dance music the writers and producers have pushed her into here (though the 80s vibe of Shake You Up is fun). She remains beautifully melancholic, but when you put that over dubstep, as in the title track, or the bass-heavy electronic beats of Come Alive, it sounds unnatural.

Glassheart is a perfectly fine listen. But Lewis would be better off steering clear of trends, and sticking to belting out ballads.

YP Rating: 3/5

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