Monday, September 24, 2012
First Impressions: Leona Lewis Reflects In A Glassheart
I'm always up for a surprise, well, good surprises. A good surprise came in the form of Leona Lewis' latest single, "Glassheart". I admit, that I've never been much of a Leona fan. I got truly sick of "Bleeding Love" as for a lengthy spell in 2007, it was everybody and their mama's handkerchief clutching 'love don't live here anymore' anthem. Also over the years I had referred to most of Lewis' output as "musical Ambien pills". So, yeah, not so kind have I been towards Ms. Lewis. Nothing against her or her voice (because there is a voice nestled in the boring drivel she's given), it's just that her voice needed something alive to rattle in, something that would get her out of a Rip Van Winkle slumber.
See, I like big, solid voices paired with dance music. It brings back the 80's and 90's, when singers like Chaka Khan, Martha Wash, Adeva, et. al could plow into a dance jam with their bombastic voices never once getting out-matched by the busy beats scurrying around in the background. So Lewis' "Glassheart" is a total recall to this era, this idea, and it shakes the cobwebs out as it veers Lewis off onto a new sound road. "Glassheart" hovers in a hazy synth dreamland and then rockets off into a dub-step craze that feels like a play cousin to fellow Briton, Alex Clare's "Too Close" or a concoction that Marina & The Diamonds would flex --- just not as polished. Never would anyone think that dub-step and Leona Lewis would find mutual ground, but "Glassheart" proves it.
I don't know why Lewis and her team are pushing for the bland "Trouble" to propel the much delayed Glassheart project (I'm guessing it has to do something with the Emeli Sandé writing credit...), but this Ryan Tedder penned title track is exactly what Lewis needs to spice up her game. Awoken I am.