In a niche heavily occupied by the likes of Adele and Alicia Keys, Leona Lewis’ highly-anticipated album Glassheart needed to make its mark. With a mixture of sounds, ranging from typical powerful ballads to sharper, high-energy dance tunes, the X Factor sweetheart succeeds in producing a more diverse sound in an album which she describes as “passionate, heartfelt and genuine”.
Glassheart epitomises Leona’s unrivalled vocal ability with powerful, sultry numbers throughout. Delicate piano sounds complemented with big, dynamic vocals dominate ballads such as “Unlove Me” and “Lovebird” tends to sick to the classic Leona Lewis style. The track, “I To You” illumes a more theatrical and dramatic approach and those sceptical of Leona’s ability to sing with any emotional attachment will be pleasantly surprised.
Such typical slow airs are actively balanced with colourful, high-tempo tracks which show Lewis experimenting with completely different styles of music. “Shake You Up”, as the title suggests, is genuinely exciting and promotes the welcome return of the xylophone to the charts. The title track, “Glassheart” entertains us with a dubstep feel and an altogether more evolved sound, and delivers as one of Lewis’ only club-friendly tracks.
Although Lewis’ album does venture into new realms of technique, it is all done so in a very safe and structured manner. The singer does not commit herself totally to these innovative styles and her ability to perform outside of her comfort zone is indeed questionable. The song-writing is incredibly safe and personally, I feel the album lacked a little of Leona’s own personality. Nonetheless, her sweet, gentle voice does shine through and the album as a whole does provide a few standout tracks, which are sure to prove a hit for Lewis’ fan base.